Rain or severe drought. Puttaraju, an organic farmer of Byloor Village, Kollegal Taluk in Chamarajanagar will always get good returns from his land. He has cultivated a combination of 14 varieties of Ragi, different types of minor millets, pulses, and traditional colour maize in his 2 cares land. Monoculture of maize rules in his village, but millets where even finger millet as a main crop.
Being a small farmer in the obtained two acres of land, he has strive hard to cultivate a combination of different millets, pulses. He has produced 'Akkadi', an traditional multi cropping system in his land. From which he produces about nine varieties of oilseeds, pulses millets and ensure the house hold food security and also get good returns. The major advantage of Akkadi is that even if one crops fails, several other crops will grow.
One of the rare traditional colour maize which are only prevailing in South India and is conserved by the Soliga Community of Biligiri Range can also be seen in his land.
He is the first certified organic farmer in his area based on the nutrient availability, water holding capacity, and soil fertility, in addition to natural pest and disease control. He is also inspiring the farmers in his locality and asking to save the traditional practice of farming.
“I got interested in organic faring just eight years ago. With the help of Sahaja Samrudha and Department of Agriculture, I came to know about traditional cropping systems. Now, I am very much happy. Even though rains have severely hit the farmers this year, I am getting good returns as I have grown 14 varieties of ragi. Ragi does'nt need much water,” says Puttaswamy who is in his 50's.
Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha said that ‘akkadi- traditional multi cropping of ragi act as insurance. One or the other crop will give returns to the farmer in case of rain failure or excess rain’.