V S Shyamkumar, who has already gained some recognition for producing tuber crops of record-breaking sizes, is ready to swear by the claim that organic fertilisers can give a higher and better crop yield than any chemical fertiliser. He has based this on his own experience, where he has concocted a fertiliser entirely derived from organic matter which he calls ‘Nattugavyam’.
“This is an entirely natural product that I have developed over the past 10 or so years and will give the best possible results,” said Kumar. “Where chemical fertilisers will give a yield of 5-10 kg, using organic fertiliser, we can get as much as 70-80 kg.”
According to Kumar, his ‘Nattugavyam’, which he calls a ‘tonic’ for plants, improves their nutrient absorption capacity and also at the same time improves soil quality by replenishing nutrients and augmenting water retention.
“Earlier, I had used chemical fertilisers but they deplete the soil of its nutrients and destroys microorganisms which are necessary for soil fertility,” he said. “The ‘Nattugavyam’, on the other hand, reintroduces these qualities in the soil.”
This plant ‘tonic’ comprises 18 ingredients, including the usually-used cow dung, coir and bone powder. The slightly unorthodox, though not by any means unheard of, ingredients include coconut water, jaggery, banana extracts and crushed string bean roots.
“In order to avoid using chemical fertilisers such as urea and potash, I began asking scientists at institutions such as the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute what naturally occurring materials had these same chemical compositions,” Kumar said. “So I learnt that coconut water can take the place of potash fertilisers, while cow urine is the richest in urea.”
Similarly, his fertiliser has a combination of 12 types of leaves crushed in, with each providing some nourishing effect or the other. “‘Kaachil’ leaves are rich in calcium while those of ‘konna’ give iron,” according to Kumar who is based in Neyyatinkara.
The ingredients are mixed with water and left to ferment over 61 days into a ‘jam’. When ready, it has to be applied once in a month by mixing it with water in a 1:20 ratio. He, however, refuses to reveal the proportion in which these ingredients are mixed to form the final product.
A major challenge he had to face, he said, was the water scarcity during the summer. “Since there is jaggery in the organic mix, we need plenty of water for applying it,” he stated.
Kumar may be contacted over 9495069909.