RySS mentor’s ATM model helps Chittoor farmers reap big gains

In June 2023, Mahesh began the ATM model on 20 cents of land, using relay sowing to ensure continuous yields.
Ramisetty Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram in Chittoor district, has transformed two acres of sandy soil into a thriving testament to the power of natural farming.
Ramisetty Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram in Chittoor district, has transformed two acres of sandy soil into a thriving testament to the power of natural farming. Photo | Express

CHITTOOR: Ramisetty Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram in Chittoor district, is earning a substantial income by practising various natural farming models in just 2 acres of his land with the support of the Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS).

Mahesh, a graduate, has been utilising natural farming techniques in farming for five years under the RySS’s Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF) initiative. He has successfully implemented natural farming techniques in his sandy soil land using a single borewell and four desi cows. Apart from sustaining his livelihood, his innovative farming methods are also inspiring a growing community of farmers to embrace sustainable practices.

Recognizing his efforts and results, RySS has promoted Mahesh as a mentor to provide technical guidance to five farmer scientists, providing them with technical guidance and support to improve their fields. He has adopted three farming models: A Grade, ATM (Any Time Money), and the Drought Proofing Model. In his role as a mentor, Mahesh supports these farmers, helping them improve their fields and serve as role models.

In January 2024, Mahesh implemented the Drought Proofing Model on 25 cents of land, planting nine vegetables and two oilseeds crops (castor and mustard). Over six months, he invested Rs 4,700 and earned Rs 43,000 from vegetables, with additional income expected from the oilseeds. This model, designed by RySS, supports farmers in drought-prone areas.

In June 2023, Mahesh began the ATM model on 20 cents of land, using relay sowing to ensure continuous yields. Over the past six months, he invested Rs 9,400 and earned Rs 1,28,950. The ATM model ensures a steady income with multiple crops being harvested year-round.

Ramisetty Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram in Chittoor District, is earning a substantial income by practicing various natural farming models on just 2 acres of land.
Ramisetty Mahesh Kumar, a resident of Saraswathipuram in Chittoor District, is earning a substantial income by practicing various natural farming models on just 2 acres of land.Photo | Express

Following the A Grade category, Mahesh implemented a 5-layer model on 1.5 acres, cultivating 20 crops in different layers. From January to June 2024, he invested Rs 9,000 and earned Rs 1,58,875 from vegetables and lily flowers. The lily crop alone yielded 3 kg per day for three months, providing Rs 500 daily. This crop is expected to yield for another five years. Additionally, Mahesh follows the Surya Mandalam Model, cultivating vegetables and leafy greens on 5 to 10 cents of land.Without synthetic fertilisers, and relying instead on Ghana and Drava Jeevamrutham made from cow dung and urine, and Panchagavya, Mahesh saw success in reaping good yields. His natural farming methods have effectively eliminated pest infestations, and he often uses his own seeds to avoid chemical exposure.

In terms of marketing, Mahesh sells tomatoes, beans, brinjal, and chilies within his village to promote chemical-free produce for villagers’ health. He also sells bajra (pearl millet), jowar (sorghum), maize (corn), ragi (finger millet), pigeon peas, black gram, green gram, and sesame to farmers as part of PMDS (Pre-Monsoon Dry Sowing) kits.

Mahesh’s natural farming not only brings financial benefits but also promotes biodiversity. His fields attract various insects like ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and numerous bird species. Engaging in natural farming also improved Mahesh’s health, attracting fellow farmers to take a ‘natural’ initiative.

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