Mancherial: The gap between nature and man continues to widen with the advent of technologies that simplify tasks of humans. So is the connection between farmer and soil.
However, to revive the farmer-soil relationship and to protect nature, Kande Veera Pratap, a renowned senior civil lawyer and environmentalist of Mancherial district centre, has been practising natural and sustainable farming for about a decade, drawing inspiration from agriculture scientist Subhash Palekar. He is producing various food grains, vegetables and fruits using this eco-friendly method. He has become a role model for the local agrarian community.
“I was growing various crops using conventional ways in two fields measuring about 10 acres by relying on fertilizers and pesticides. But I was not satisfied with that. I had attended Palekar’s workshop on natural farming held in Basar ten years ago and decided to adopt this method for raising the crops. Till then, I was not aware of this concept except for organic farming,” Pratap told ‘Telangana Today.’
One can find a wide-range of wild fruit, flower and shade-bearing trees along with different food grain and vegetable crops grown in Pratap’s two agriculture fields located on the outskirts of Gudipet village in Hajipur mandal. What is the role of the trees in agriculture? What is the logic behind jointly raising trees and crops?
“If you observe, fruit, flower and shade bearing trees of a forest, they are healthy and are not infected by a disease. They do not need fertilizers and pesticides. It is purely because the soil absorbs organic wastes. Earthworms play vital role in retaining minerals of the soil. These two systems are recreated in natural farming,” the lawyer reasoned.
The younger son of maiden chairperson of Mancherial municipality prepares bio fertilizers and pesticides such as cow urine, dung vermi-compost and waste decomposers for growing the crops. He produces paddy, maize, pulses, millets, oil grains, lady’s finger, beans, ridged guard, bottle guard, lemon, orange, mangoes, pomegranates, banana, goose berry, fig, guava, sweet lime, etc in the two fields.
And, he follows efficient water managements systems such as rainwater harvesting pits and check dams.
In order to promote the nature farming concept, the 65-year-old and his friends founded the Centre for Sustainable Nature Education Health Agriculture (CSNEHA), a voluntary organitation, four years back. “We are organising a slew of programmes to create awareness among farmers over this method in several parts of Telangana. Over 10 farmers of the district shifted to this farming,” he claimed.