Mangaluru, Apr 9, 2017, DHNS: At a time when farmers are facing problems of poor yield and low income, here is a farmer who is not only leading a contented life by adopting organic farming techniques and dairy farming, but is also setting an example on self-sufficiency.
Ananthapadmanabha Bhat, a resident of Kullangalu in Soorinje of Surathkal hobli, was a driver in Bengaluru earlier. He returned to his native village due to his father’s ill health and took up farming extensively.
“Farming is fascinating and gives solace in life. The only thing it requires is hard work and devotion,” Bhat said. He has cultivated paddy, arecanut, fodder and maize on eight acres of land and is self-sufficient in his requirements.
Bhat said dairy farming is essential for adopting organic farming techniques. He has reared 18 cattle in his cowshed and sells around 60 litres of milk daily. There is a good demand for the masala buttermilk prepared by him and it was an instant hit at a Krishi mela held recently.
He uses a milching machine for milking the cows. With the help of two labourers, he looks after his farm land as well as cattle. The dairy unit is attached to the composting unit so that cattle dung can be easily utilised for the process without involving much labour.
Even ‘gomutra’ (urine of cattle) from the cowshed is made to flow into a 60,000-litre biodigester. All the organic waste from households, including leaves, are also dumped into the biodigester. The slurry from the unit is pumped to the farm land as manure. On an average, 600 litres of cow urine enters the biodigester everyday.
Cow dung from the cattle shed enters three cubic metre-capacity biogas unit tank. As the dung is put into the unit two times in a day, gobar gas is available for the family round-the-clock for cooking.
Bhat has also placed mats on the floor of the cowshed to maintain hygiene. Organic manure has increased the fertility of the soil. He sells 25 to 30 tonnes of vermi compost and cow dung manure.
Even the fodder required for cattle is cultivated on his two acre land. Five different kinds of grass, including sugar grass and Rhodes, are cultivated on two acres of land. As a result, the cattle never face shortage of fodder. The grass is also cut using machines, he added.
Bhat has also dug a huge pond for percolation of rain water. As a result, water is available in the pond round-the-year and is sufficient to irrigate his farm land.Bhat said, “Organic farming has increased the fertility of the soil. Cow urine, cow dung and other organic materials from households are also used for manure.
Organic farming is not just a system of farming. It is good for environment and surroundings. It is not only eco-friendly, but also more economical for farmers to raise cattle in an integrated farm.” Bhat is also the president of Subhiksha Savayava Krishika Sangha.