KADAPA: 55-year-old farmer, Tippareddy Bala Narasimha Reddy, from Vanipenta in Mydukur, has been extending help to farmers to achieve better yields, by forming farmer clubs. Narasimha Reddy had never thought he would become a farmer and like every other youngster, he pursued his graduation with myriad dreams of making it big in life. He finished his graduation in 1985 from Sri Venkateswara Degree College in Kadapa.
At the age of 21, after completing his graduation, he returned home and just after five months, he lost his father Narayana Reddy. The demise of his father became a turning point for Narasimha Reddy, as his brother had parted ways with the family.
“What next” was a big question Narasimha Reddy had to answer. He then chose to follow his father’s footsteps to become a farmer. From knowing absolutely nothing about about farming, to now being an expert in horticulture, Narasimha Reddy has come a long way.
For years, Narsimha Reddy has faced challenges while cultivating in his six acres. Today, after 15 years of facing the highs and the lows, he has been sharing his experiences, as a horticulturist, with others to make sure that they do not face the difficulties he had faced.
Through the farmers clubs, Narsimha Reddy ensures that farmers are well informed to overcome problems and not suffer losses. He was bestowed with the ‘Udayana Ratna’ for the efforts he has taken in the last three decades to help farmers.
In the year 2000, with help of NABARD, Narasimha Reddy established his first ‘Adarsha Rythu Club’ (Progressive Farmer Club) and began disseminating his knowledge and experience about cultivating horticulture crops including vegetables with the right amount of fertilizers like potash. After three years, in 2003, he formed the ‘Rythu Mitra’ group, through which he started facilitating `2 lakh to `3 lakh loans to the farmers.
He created awareness about the use of drip irrigation and educated farmers on how four acres of land could be irrigated using the drip irrigation method, while regular irrigation would irrigate only one acre. Farmers followed suited and adopted the method of drip irrigation for horticulture crops like banana, papaya, turmeric and other vegetables.
“We normally used to cultivate 300 kgs of turmeric per acre, but after Narasimaha Reddy sir showed us how to maximise the yield with same inputs using different methods like drip irrigation and with the help of Krishi Vigyana Kendram scientists, the yield has increased at least by 50 per cent,” a farmer in Mydukur said.
Narasimha Reddy was instrumental in setting up Krishi Vigyana Kendra (KVK) in the district in 2006.
Earlier, KVK in Mahanandi, Kurnool, which adopted 20 villages around Vanipenta used to take care of the needs of the farmers in the region.
In 2006, Narasimha Reddy explained to the then Mydukur MLA DL Ravindra Reddy how the farmers in the region could benefit, if they had their own KVK. Subsequently, the MLA took the matter to the notice of the then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who immediately ensured a KVK was set up in Kadapa and later in 2017, a KVK in 130 acres was set up by Dr YSR Horticulture University.
In 2019, Narasimha Reddy set up a Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) with the help of NABARD for the marketing of agriculture and horticulture produce without the involvement of middle-men. However, following the Covid pandemic, the objective could not be met in the following months. Now, as the pandemic has been showing signs of receding, farmers of the group are once again marketing their produce through the FPO.
Narasimha Reddy, who has been an elderly figure among the farmers of the region, was ATMA chairman between 2006 and 2012. Acknowledging his contribution to farming, New Delhi-based Amit Singh Memorial Foundation honoured him with ‘Udyana Ratna’ on September 12 in Hyderabad.
However, this is not his first award. In 2006, YS Rajasekhara Reddy bestowed him with the ‘best farmer award’ during Kadapotsavalu. He has also received another award for being the best turmeric farmer at the district-level in 2002.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, he said, “Due to the pandemic, farmers have suffered losses. They were not able to market their produce effectively to get optimum price. Government has to come forward to provide better seeds, saplings and timely loans.”
What next?, the young graduate asked himself
At the age of 21, after completing his graduation, he returned home and just after five months, he lost his father Narayana Reddy. The demise of his father became a turning point for Narasimha Reddy. “What next?” was a big question Narasimha Reddy had to answer. He then chose to follow his father’s footsteps to become a farmer