NAGAPATTINAM: A retired professor, here in Tharangambadi, had started with his works on preparing the soil for organic farming only about two months ago. Now, he is posting a high yield from his vegetable cultivation and is making good money from his 100 cents of land.
Vanmeega Venkataachalam, who was a professor at a private college in Mayiladuthurai for the past 30 years, decided to be an organic farmer post retirement. Even as he has a good bank balance, leads a sophisticated life and his children earn high in foreign countries, Venkatachalam took the call to be a farmer for the rest of his life and chose the 100 cents of land in Aandaancherry Village, Tharangambadi block for his dream.
Following a fully organic method of cultivation, right from preparing soil using goat dung, earth worms and cow dung, through planting the seeds and fertigation, he has got the best results.
Speaking to Express, Venkatachalam said, “Though I had an option to rest after retirement, I chose to live in my ancestors’ village and do organic farming. Earlier, I used to finance all the agricultural practices on my land, though not organic and was not involved myself.
I have not done organic farming myself earlier and thought I would give it a try now, as I have enough time. On a probation basis, I chose just 1 acre of the two-acre land in January and first replaced the soil as it was laden with chemical fertilizers and started the ploughing works. Then seven loads of cow dung added to the soil and the seeds were sown. For brinjal, tomato, ladies finger and a few other greens, saplings were planted.”
Referring to the organic fertilizer used, he said, “After buying 5 kg of Panchakavya, mixed it with cow dung, fish wastes, earthworms, buttermilk, sugar cane juice and water. After one week of fermentation, 300 ml of this mixture was diluted with 12 litres of water and sprayed in the farm land once a week from the time of sowing and till now.”
Venkatachalam further said that he has used garlic ginger mixture as an organic pesticide which prevents the entry of insects into his farm. With this, he is getting at least 300 to 400 kg of vegetables per week, while using the chemical fertilizer he just got 200 kgs last year.
“Last year, I had spent Rs 30,000 for chemical fertilizer on the 100 cents. Besides labour cost, pesticides and irrigation came to Rs 50,000 to grow vegetables. I could not even get back the investment as the yield posted was very less. This year, I could prepare the organic fertilizer with just Rs 6000. As I have also shifted to drip irrigation, I spent Rs 20,000 for the 100 cents and I am now getting good income,” Venkatachalam said, expressing his glee.