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Obituary

Shri. L. Narayan Reddy

(1935-2019)

Reddy in his SRI farm

Shri. L Narayana Reddy, the legendary organic farmer, a role model and an inspiration to many in the farming sector, passed away on 14th January 2019.

Born into a large farming family, Shri Narayana Reddy got into farming, after making a living involving himself in odd jobs, for a brief period. He reached the pinnacle in conventional high external input agriculture with record yields in the country, with sheer hard work and dedication. Disillusioned with the consequences of conventional high external input agriculture, in early seventies, Narayan Reddy started to look for alternatives. Highly inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s “One Straw Revolution”, Narayan Reddy switched to natural farming methods.

He had a great passion for learning. He was forever reading, learning, experimenting and constantly adding value to the ‘knowledge’ on organic farming. He had immense clarity of thought and tried doing things differently.  He was keen to share his knowledge. His farm was always buzzing with visitors, which ranged from novices to scientists. He was the first choice of learning for visitors from abroad.

He had immense passion to share knowledge and wisdom. He was highly articulate in several Indian languages and extremely competent in sharing his experiences in English too. He was a columnist in LEISA India magazine for more than a decade. Full of practical wisdom, Narayana Reddy Column is extremely popular among readers. He also shared through his regular columns in local newspapers.

He has travelled widely across the country and abroad, interacting with thousands of farmers and NGOs. Being fearless and sharp in expressing his views clearly, made him the most sought after special invitee for several national and international seminars and policy discussions in diverse media.

He has received several awards in recognition to his contribution to the farming sector –  “Karnataka Rajyotsava” Award by Government of Karnataka for the services rendered to the state farmers; “Environmentalist” award from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board; “Nadoja” the highest degree from Kannada University, Hampi, Karnataka, in appreciation of promoting sustainable agriculture;  “Krishika Mithrudu” by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in appreciation of efforts in educating farmers about System of Rice intensification at Krishna District during water scarcity and “Sadanaiyalar” by Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Forum, for demonstrating low cost external input agriculture.

He is a rare combination of excellence, intelligence, acumen and a passion for sharing his knowledge. An extremely hard working person, Shri Narayan Reddy was uncompromising and adopted a simple life style. His demise has caused a great vacuum in the farming sector.