Mysuru: Puttaiah, a 67-year-old progressive farmer from H D Kote taluk in the district, on Tuesday shared his success formula of comprehensive farming to instil confidence among fellow farmers who are in distress due to drought and declining crop prices.
Puttaiah, who inaugurated the 405th Navaratri festivities, by offering floral tributes to the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi Hill, narrated how his family of small landholders succeeded.
Said Puttaiah: “My father was a bonded labourer, who got four acres of land from the government. My father and brothers were working in the fields and I joined them later. Like now, there was drought in 1966 and 1976. We took the help of officials in practising comprehensive farming, by cultivating mixed crops. Now, we have 40 acres of land. If farmers adopt a comprehensive agriculture policy, it is sure to bring prosperity”.
Puttaiah said, “For the daily purse, I have adopted dairy farming, while vegetable farming ensures weekly income. For monthly income, sericulture is the source, while coconut crop brings Rs 1.5 lakh revenue every quarter. The main crops like sugarcane, plantain, turmeric and ginger bring annual income. It is supplemented by sheep and goat rearing, which brings anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh”.
For farmers who have been taking loans, Puttaiah had an advice, “I have eight borewells in my farm and have never taken loan. Haasige iddashtu kalu chachabeku (a Kannada adage that means one should prioritise his needs according to income).”
Puttaiah appealed to the government to introduce a scientific agriculture policy by ensuring better prices for farmers’ produce. “In the wake of farmers’ increasing dependence on electricity to run motor pumpsets for water rather than rain, the government should take measures to tap solar energy. To enable farmers who lack adequate land to build their own ‘kana’ (separate area on the land to de-husk the produce), the government should create the facility for de-husking en masse.”
“Do not take hasty steps like committing suicide, leaving the family members in the lurch,” Puttaiah appealed to farmers.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who described Puttaiah as a ‘model farmer’, said, though the latter lacks education (he quit studies while in class eight), he has vast experience in agriculture.
Siddaramaiah, who prayed to Chamundeshwari to repose self-confidence among farmers, appealed to the farmers not to resort to suicide.
Puttaiah lives in an undivided family of 42 members, including four brothers and their families, 11 children (all graduates who have continued with agriculture).