Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Controlling weeds - Soorya Narayana's style

Soorya Narayanan is a natural farmer from Ottapalam,Palakkad,Kerala. He has 15 acres of land and grows coconut,banana,paddy and recently rubber. He does not irrigate his farm and also does not apply any animal manure. He had applied some chicken manure earlier, but not now a days. Couple of years back, he had received Kerala government's 'Kera Kesari' award for the best coconut farmer.

He does not grow any legumes between the coconut trees and just allows the grass to grow naturally. Instead of cutting the grass, he thrashes it with a long stick, he says this is more effective/easy than cutting the weeds. This is how he became a natural farmer..

He was a chemical farmer earlier and his own observations made him to a natural farmer. He found that using chemicals yield was not sufficient, land fertility was reducing and also he was under loss. So he left the land without doing anything and he was doing some other job to make a living. After two years, grass was growing tall after the rains. He wanted to cut and clean the grass, but getting labour was difficult he just thought of thrashing it with a stick. He found this useful and grass was not growing back since rain had stopped and summer was approaching. Next summer was a severe one and while the trees in the nearby farms were affected, his trees were still green. The thrashed grass retained moisture well and it was helping the trees. He really understood the importance of mulching and for him this thrashing was quite an easy task. He also left all the coconut leaves in the farm and trees started yielding well and he was chosen as the best coconut farmer for that year.

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