Article Mr. C.N.Narayana Hebbar - Manages an integrated farm to grow crops for direct sales to Campco

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    Manages an integrated farm to grow crops for direct sales to Campco

    “I grow and sell cocoa and arecanut for Mangalore-based Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative (Campco) company. They have high demand for cocoa hence they buy key raw materials directly from the farmers. It is a systematic model where we sell them produce on weekly basis. Every week 20 kg cocoa raw seeds are supplied to the company at Rs. 55-65/kg,” shares Mr. C.N.Narayana Hebbar, natural farmer from Bela village, Kasaragod, Kerala. He has 300 cocoa plants in his farm.

    Sharing details on arecanut he states, “I grow Kasaragod local variety of arecanut known as Mangala in my farm. I have 1200 trees of 25-30 years old. After the trees are aged 20years, we sow a new sapling in between the trees. In this way we will have a mixed aged group plant. Arecanut plants yields after 4years. Presently the total arecanut production in my farm is 400 quintals or 4000kg. The yield is less due to water scarcity. The produce is sold at Rs. 300/kg.” It is sold from the month of November to March.
    Cocoa tree.jpg
    Mr. Narayana Hebbar maintains an integrated farm as the revenues are generated uniformly every month. Other than cocoa and arecanut he also grows coconut, pepper, banana and vegetables. He also maintains a small dairy unit and produces honey. He purchases seeds for all his crops as required from Krishi Bhavana, Kasargod. “Coconut is value added into desiccated coconut and copra. These are sold at Rs. 37/kg and Rs. 80/kg respectively. Occasionally we also extract oil from coconut. Banana is the only crop that generates income in rainy season. I grow a local variety and G9 banana. It is sold at Rs. 30-35/kg subject to price fluctuations,” he adds. Arecanut is intercropped with pepper, cocoa and banana. Pepper and cocoa needs little shade, “Pepper grown is panivur, karimunda, as well as one local variety of pepper. Pepper yield is 150kgs sold at Rs. 600/kg,” he shares.

    Pepper is extremely susceptible to diseases. “Yes! In our region rut disease badly affected the crop and had been spread in many farms. It had crippled the farming acreage till 2005. However, since 2006 slowly farmers stopped using chemicals in their farms. Even I had not touched chemicals since 2006. First two years were tough as the yield was less but now the yield has improved,” asserts Mr. Narayana Hebba. Kasaragod district is being declared as organic.

    Speaking about farming practices, he says, “Earlier I was doing chemical based farming but now my farm is self-dependent in terms of farming inputs. With biogas at farm, manure is not a problem at all. The slurry obtained is used as natural fertilizer. Further to increase the yield of the crops we use farm produced manure. It is made through vermicomposting in which we turn green leaf waste and cattle excreta into manure. We use Bordeaux mixture (copper sulphate and lime) as insecticide for arecanut.” To turn the soil fertile, increase the nutrient content and reduce the water requirement mulching is done. “We do mulching with arecanut, coconut leaves and other farm waste. I have 140 trees of coconut on the farm border hence get sufficient leaves for mulching. However, Kasargod being a dry area, in spite of doing mulching regularly plants requires irrigation from December month itself. To manage water scarcity I practice rainwater soaking method to increase the ground water level. This project is funded by NABARD. It helps in conserving rainwater optimally.”

    Mr. Narayana Hebbar believes in direct sales of his produce. Similar to horticulture produce milk and honey produced at the farm is also sold directly to the end user. “All produce is of excellent quality therefore I sell to the end users. Earlier I used to sell milk to the milk co-operative at Rs. 30-31/liter but now I sell it local people at Rs. 40/liter. In the apiculture, I rear local variety of honey bee. Raw honey procured is processed within the farm and finished produce is sold at Rs. 350-400/kg,” he highlights.

    He concludes, “At the moment I have reduced my farming activities due to bad health and labour problems. I find it tough to work independently but if any youth aspires to take up farming commercially I shall be happy to provide the knowledge share because growing food in harmony with nature proffers happiness and peace.”

    Contact Details:
    Mr. C.N.Narayana Hebbar
    Chowkar House, P O Bela, Via Kumbla, Kasaragod, Kerala- 671321
    Phone: 09446222192
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