Read article @The Hindu, Visakhapatnam; PC: The HIndu, Vizag
Yield way above expectations, says NGO promoting the practice in N. Andhra
Adapting the successful ‘Guli’ sowing and cultivation practice in ragi, farmers in three districts have reaped a rich harvest, going by the results of the crop-cutting experiments conducted in kharif of 2019.
Zero budget farming
The 81 crop-cutting experiments conducted so far by Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) of Andhra Pradesh and the Department of Agriculture in the north coastal districts, recorded yields ranging from 8.4 quintals to 16.42 quintals per acre.
Following the Zero Budget Natural Farming and ‘Guli,’ 1,328 farmers have sown ragi in 800 acres in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari, according to M.L. Sanyasi Rao, Programme Manager of NGO Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), technical resource group for promotion of ‘Guli.’
Pangi Govindu of Vanuguputtu in Munchingput mandal of Visakhapatnam district got a record yield of 32 quintals from two acres.
Two other farmers of Vizianagaram district also got more than 16 quintals per acre.
In comparison, farmers following conventional methods got less yields.
The least recorded in the ‘Guli’ method, 8.49 quintals, is higher than the best in conventional farming, says Mr. Sanyasi Rao.
Fourteen crop-cuttings showed that the yields were between 2.24 quintals and 7.8 quintals per acre. Crop-cutting experiments are still going on in East Godavari.
Pioneered by Karnataka
In the successful ‘Guli’ method of Karnataka, spacing is followed in transplantation, weeding was done twice and root-stimulation is done by using a wooden plank to produce more tillers.
Besides, ‘Jeevamrutham’ mainly consisting of cow urine and dung, was applied twice.
According to Mr. Rao, WASSAN has been promoting ‘Guli’ ragi for three years with the objective of encouraging crop- diversity and indigenous seed varieties, among others.
WASSAN roped in other NGOs — Sanjeevini, Kovel Foundation, VIKASA and ‘Jattu’ for the programme.