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Organic Farmer Role Model for Educated Indian Youth – Many From Corporate World

A reader, who is also interested in the organic food movement, shared a link to the following article.  It is so encouraging to hear about educated young people taking up organic farming instead of heading off to corporate jobs.

Many youngsters are pouring into Pakkam, a village in Thiruvallur district, about 35 km from Chennai to meet 37-year-old R Jeganathan, an organic farmer, who grows around thirty varieties of greens in his 2-acre leased farm.
In these days when people are quitting agriculture citing financial losses, here is someone who says agriculture is profitable.
Youth are looking up to Jeganathan for guidance in organic farming (Photos by P C Vinoj Kumar)
“The focus has to be on integrated farming. You need to take up dairy and poultry farming along with agriculture to make farming sustainable and profitable,” he says. Continue reading

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Indian Farmers Learn From Past Mistakes

Tan Cheng Li writes about a growing number of farmers in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu who are returning to the old way of chemical-free cultivation of crops:

YONG Weng Thing was amazed when he saw the field of spinach. Being a farmer himself, he knows good quality stuff when he sees it and quickly helped himself to the greens. A bunch of spinach in hand, he gestured a thumbs up to R. Venkatrasa, owner of the organic farm in a village in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
“Very good, very healthy,” quipped Yong. Showing me the leaves, he added: “See this layer of oil under the leaf? It helps repel insects. You don’t get this in vegetables grown using conventional methods.”
The farm was one of several stops for a group of 15 Malaysians on a trip to observe natural farming practices in Tamil Nadu. The visit was put together by the Consumer Association of Penang and on the trip were farmers who grow vegetables, sweet potato, mango, papaya and strawberry, as well as wholesalers and one agriculture researcher.
They hope to learn from the past mistakes of Indian farmers, who had relied on hybrid seed varieties, synthetic fertilisers and chemical pesticides which eventually robbed the soil of its nutrients and biological life, resulting in poor yield.
In Tamil Nadu, a growing number of farmers are undoing the mistake of the past by returning to the old way of chemical-free cultivation. Over the course of four days, the Malaysians observed how these farmers use home-made fertilisers formulated from farm waste, natural pesticides concocted from plants, and various techniques to grow produce with minimal water and without relying on costly, harmful chemicals.
Indian farmers are gradually going back to the sans-chemical traditional way of farming. At this market in Trichy.

A market in Tiruchirapalli, a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Some Indian farmers are going back to the traditional way of farming, one that does not rely on synthetic chemicals. — TAN CHENG LI/The Star Continue reading