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Zero budget farming

K V Patil and I S  Rao

Mr. Malleshappa Gulappa Biserotti is from Hiregunjal village, Kundgol taluk, Dharwad district, Karnataka, India. The region has been experiencing severe water shortages from 1990 onwards.

He has been practising organic farming since the last one decade. Biserotti, initially started using Farm Yard Manure (FYM), compost and vermi-compost. Over four years of usage, he noticed that his crops were getting better. He started using liquid Jeevamrutha, a biological preparation. But, the catch was that sufficient water was required to prepare liquid Jeevamrutha. With the water shortage situation in mind, he started experimenting with the use of solid Jeevamrutha and succeeded in raising crops over the last six years.

Solid Jeevamrutha is prepared by mixing 10 kg cow dung from a local cow or ox with 250 gram pulse flour, 250 gram jaggery, 500 gram soil and 1.5 to 2.0 litres cattle urine. These products are mixed well and a heap is made under the shade and covered with a gunny bag for 24 hours. The next day, the gunny bag is removed and dried under the shade for 25-30 days, which results in the pebble form of solid Jeevamrutha. Then, pebbles are sieved to separate fine and coarse particles. It is then used either directly along with the seeds during sowing or as top-dressing. With this method, Mr. Biserotti noticed the development of an enormous number of earthworms, which provided a new ray of hope to organic farming.

He started developing earthworms in trays. For three days, 2.5 litres of water was added to 20 kg solid Jeevamrutha. He found around 1,000 earthworms in the tray after 45 days under incubation. After 71 days of vermi-compost preparation, he found more number of earthworm colonies, pupa and small worms and noticed 1,500 well grown and developed earthworms in the tray. He gets 20 kg of vermi-compost from each tray, which is mixed with compost and solid Jeevamrutha and is used for crops.

Every day, he prepares a minimum of 15 kg of solid Jeevamrutha per tray, which amounts to more or less 5 MT of solid Jeevamrutha a year. Mr. Biserotti produces 10 MT of vermi-compost every year. With these organic products, he has been able to produce sustainable crops that are naturally better than those produced through inorganic farming practices. He also prepares 200 kg of neem cake with the seeds collected from 17 neem trees and uses neem leaves for vermi-compost production.

Mr. Biserotti practised sustainable agriculture using locally available natural resources with compost, vermi-compost and local seed material. By adopting this method of organic farming, he has been able to achieve better crop productivity per acre of land, under scanty rainfall conditions. Also, the culinary value and shelf life of the end produce is good and retains its original nutrient contents on storage. Mr. Biserotti believes that these methods will greatly benefit in maintaining sustainable agriculture and getting remunerative income from agriculture, even under uncertain and unpredictable rain fed conditions.

Mr. Malleshappa Gulappa Biserotti can be contacted at Hiregunjala (Village), Kundgola (Taluk), Dharwad (District), Karnataka, India. Mobile: +91 99450 11754

Shri K. V. Patil

Ph. D. Scholar

Dr. I. S. Rao

Professor and University Head,

Extension Education Institute (EEI),

PJTSAU, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

 

This is an edited version of the original published in Dr. Muttanna, Dr.Lakshmi Murthy, Dr.Saravanan Raj (eds.), Inspiring Stories from Innovative Farmers, 2018, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Rajendranagar, Hyderabad- 500030, Telangana State, India.