Article Mr. Shekharagouda Basavannagouda Chaudaplavar

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    Invents new cotton transplanting technique

    Haveri district, Karnataka is renowned for its cotton cultivation. Traditionally farmers of the region practice dibbling as convenient method of sowing cotton seeds. However, in order to augment the germination, Mr. Shekhargowda Basavannagouda Choudaplavar invented a new technique of transplanting of cotton seedlings.

    He is resident of Joyisaraharalahalli, Ranebennur taluk, Haveri district Karnataka. On his 65 acres farm, he does seed multiplication for Syngenta Seeds and also does commercial farming of cotton and cash crops. He shares details about cotton sapling transplanting and seeds production. Excerpts:

    Initially I used 450 gram cotton seed pack for 1acre. In order to ensure germination I used to sow 2 seeds in one place through dibbling but due to heavy rains/soil hardening the seeds would not germinate and I suffered losses because to fill the gaps in the farm I had to buy additional 200 gram seed pack. Due to re-sowing, the crop would not grow uniformly and the farming process was hurdled as weeding, manure application and harvesting etc would vary plant to plant. Altogether it led to poor production and increased the farming cost. Looking for the solution I decided to develop seedlings and transplant the same in field uniformly. I took two years to standardize the technique of transplanting of cotton seedlings.

    In this technique, in a plastic tray of 18 *12 inch size seeds are sown in the cocopeat media. In one tray 88-98 seeds can be accommodated. Cocopeat holds the moisture for 10-15days and aids in the growth of sapling. It takes about 32-35 days for the seed to germinate later to which it is planted in the main field. It also provides enough time for land preparation. After transplanting the saplings, it takes 35days to flower. We begin the transplantation in the beginning of monsoon.

    We give DAP twice with the water through drip or sprayer precisely 6 days after transplanting and then on 12th day around the plant because the roots are delicate, as thin as hair. Potash is also important to be applied along with DAP. Hence we mix 1 bag of DAP and half bag of potash for 1acre. It is applied thrice in the farm. Once the plant starts flowering fertilizer application must be stopped. If the plant becomes red it implies potash is less hence it needs to be added with a supplement. We also use cattle manure adequately.

    Scientific rationale about the innovation are uniform crop stand keeping spacing of 5’ x 4’, seeds saving (transplanting), efficient utilization of resources, good crop establishment and increase in production as 2500-2600 saplings are sown in one acre. Using this transplanting technique yield is around 16 -18 - 20qunitals with rains as the plants will branch out very neatly.

    We develop cotton saplings for sale only on pre-advance, fully paid orders. There are 4 poly house with us, each gives 15lakhs saplings. We had an understanding with a company that bought 45-48 lakh sapling to be supplied across Karnataka.

    Other than cotton farming commercially I am also cultivating maize, onion, garlic, Bijapur maize, pigeon pea, commercial chili etc. And since the year 1971 I am engaged in seed production for Holland based company Syngenta Seeds. I produce seeds for vegetables and fruits namely tomato, chilies, capsicum, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, ladies finger, water melon, musk melon etc. Company gives male and female seeds that are sown and grown for seed multiplication through cross pollination. The seeds are harvested and given back to the company. I have a good working relationship with the company and received many awards from my work. Even I was sent to foreign countries to take up training on seed multiplication, nursery development, prepare male and female seeds.

    Being the son of a farmer I have a natural connect with soil and plants. I can very much relate to plant growing system therefore going by common sense and following the gut I was able to develop cotton transplanting technique. Although I have attained the strata of a senior citizen but I am in no mood to sit and rest! I keep trying new things and developing new techniques. Agriculture is undoubtedly most challenging industry as well as provides enormous area for creativity. It is the most fun-filled puzzle to solve the plant growing process problems but I am passionate about finding the solution!

    (As told to Mamatha S R)

    Contact Details
    Mr. Shekharagouda Basavannagouda Chaudaplavar
    Kumareshwara Krupa, 1st Main, 1st Cross, Maruti Nagara, Behind Minividhanasoudha, Ranebennur Taluk, Haveri District – 581 158, Karnataka
    Phone: 9448967203

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