MYSORE: The Ghani family that once supplied mangoes to Mysore royal family and Tipu Sultan, at Kirugavalu village in Malavalli, has developed a seed bank with more than 800 varieties of paddy.
The family’s 20-acre farm spread on Bannur-Malvalli Road throws light on organic farming and multiple cropping that would make farmers self sustainable.
Syed Ghani Khan (38), a graduate in Archeology and Ancient History from Maharaja’s College, is a resource person with invitations from across the country.
Many farmers visit his house at Kirugavalu village and take tips from him on growing paddy, sugarcane and other horticulture crops.
Khan’s farm, with more than 130 mango trees that are more than 200 years old, 80 trees of guava, sugarcane, paddy, onion, pulses, maize, jowar, banana and more than 80 varieties of medicinal plants has made himself sustainable. Khan belongs to the fifth generation of the Ghani family who had served in the Tipu’s fort.
“I was told by my grandfather that we had supplied fruits to the royal family. There was one more farm in Sosale village near T Narsipur that raised (Anjura) dates for Tipu. But it is non-existent now,” Khajn added. The family has exported 80 varieties of mangoes to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar and other countries through an agency.
“I have exported `2.5 lakh worth mangoes this season. I have started supplying organic food grains to leading hotels in Bangalore and they pay well compared to the open market,” Khan said.
The family has never sought loans from private lenders.
“We have not faced acute scarcity of labourers as all the family members join hands whenever there is need,” Khan added.
His interest to preserve indigenous food grains and protest against genetically-engineered seeds marketed by multi national companies, helped him produce varieties like Ganada Sale, Jeera Sana, Raja mudi, Kage sale, Kari Gajgere, Channa Puri, Gamaganaleye, Byranellu, Dodda Byranellu, Kempa Bryranellu, Mudagandabatta and Navara.
The authorities of College of Agriculture, Visvesvaraya Canal farm, Mandya, have assigned Khan to produce seeds that will be circulated among the farmers.
“I have decided to reach out to as many farmers as possible to educate them to have their own seed bank and not to fall prey for the genetically engineered seeds pushed by the multi national companies,” Syed Ghani Khan said.