Inclined towards organic farming initiates small beginning with papaya cultivation
Mr. Sathish Chandran says he was “attracted towards organic and natural farming after seeing the hard work of Dr. Namalwar.” He also got an opportunity to get training from Dr. Namalwar after which he began working to make his farm organic. “I have not registered any name for my farm till date,” he shares and says that it is however referred to as “Yellukattai Thotam.” “It is very well known in our village and surroundings,” he adds. Mr. Chandran is an MBA graduate managing farming business in parallel to his professional job in a company.
The area of the farm is about 7 acres. Red lady variety of papaya is planted in about 2-2.5 acres of land. “Once I bought a Tamil magazine in which the front page had an article about papaya and the successful farmer interview,” he shares and adds, “This attracted me.”
The life time of a papaya is about 22 months. One can start harvesting from the 8th month till the 22nd month. With proper maintenance an average yield of 70-100 kg per tree could be achieved. “Prices vary from Rs. 5-17 and sometimes up fetches Rs. 25 per kg,” shares Mr. Chandran and he points out, “We can keep an average of Rs.9 per kg.”
As per his experience the expense for maintaining 1000 trees is approximately Rs. 3-3.5 lakhs. Taking an average price of Rs 9 and yield of 70 kgs the net profit would be approximately “Rs. 2.8 lakhs minimum which is guaranteed in 23 months.”
Speaking of inputs he shares, “I purchase panchagavya and other organic pesticides and fertilizers from market but as it is quite expensive I am working on to prepare the same at the farm itself.”
Due to little experience in organic farming Mr. Chandran feels it is too early for him to comment on the yield and pest control in organic farming. “It takes some more time to make the soil complete fertile (as chemicals have been used in the farm for the past 20 years) and go for good yield,” he shares and goes on to say, “I have full confidence but right now I need some time to prove it.”
Farm is managed by his father and one permanent laborer. “Sometimes we hire laborers for extra work,” he adds. Lamenting over bad experience he shares, “My worst time was when I couldn’t save my papaya trees due to continues heavy rain in our place a couple of months back. Due to excess water the trees’ roots got decayed and because of this I lost all my trees,” he adds.
At present the products are sold to local vendors who approach the farm themselves and buy. Mr. Chandran’s next project is Red Banana. “I have already planted around 1200 trees,” he shares. He also plans to start selling to online sellers.
2/137, Viswanathan colony
Coimbatore – 641010