When Syed Ghani, 36, rejected a well paying job in Kuwait to take up farming at his native village in Malavalli taluk, no one, including his family members, believed that one day he will make it big.
In the last 16 years, Ghani, an Archaeology and Museology graduate has proved everyone wrong. Now, he grows 567 traditional varieties of paddy, 120 local varieties of mangoes and sugarcane in his 20 acres of fertile land.
“I started with just 40 grains of Ratna Chudi, a particular variety of paddy in 1996. Now, I grow 567 of varieties of paddy from India and abroad. Every season, I cultivate some traditional varieties,” Ghani, who is exhibiting his produce at the four-day Indian Biodiversity Exhibition which started in the city on Saturday, said.
Though Ghani said he is not making any profit from the yield, he is satisfied with his work on conserving many traditional paddy varieties. “In every season, I get around five quintals of yield, but given high input costs I do not make much of a profit.”
“Two years ago, I approached the Joint Director of Agriculture in Mandya and submitted a copy of my work. I am yet to get response,” he added.
Some of the paddy varieties which he grows are Aravadan Kuruvi, Sastik Shalai, Jeerige Sanna, Raskadam, Bangara Sanna, China Ponni, Navara, Karigajgali , Kageshale, Bilinellu, Doddi Basi and Byrnellu.
He has also conserved jasmine paddy from Thailand, black rice paddy from Burma and Pakistani Basmathi paddy.