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My dear friends: Farming is the art of growing food, a full time vocation no doubt. At the same time, not all farmers are just farmers. In many villages across the country, there are several scientists and innovators in the guise of farmers trying to find an answer to a problem which is specific to their village or field. One such is G R Sakthivel of the Erode District Organic Farmer’s Federation.

Sakthivel developed a simple-yet-effective mechanism to filter cattle waste and use the manure for his sugarcane. The four-compartment system developed by the farmer consists of a step-by-step filtration technique ensuring that an enriched filtrated medium is collected at the end and sent by drip irrigation system through the field.

A believer of organic cultivation, Sakthivel says that “one of the main reasons that encouraged him to innovate was the decreasing quality of soil due to the continuous usage of chemical fertilizers. Fertilisers not only affect health considerably but also decrease the quantity of yield. I have worked on this innovation to do away with the use of chemicals and use available cattle resources for the purpose of soil nourishment.”

Decreased availability of labour also acted as a catalyst to the process of innovation for this farmer.  The increase in sugarcane yield is standing proof of the success of this innovation. From an output quantity of 60 tonnes in the first harvest, the yield increased to 63 tonnes in the second harvest. The crop which is now in its third harvest is only expected to give an even greater yield.

Sakthivel has inspired other farmers from Dharmapuri, Madurai and Dindigul who are approaching him to learn the technique and take to organic farming. This, according to Mr. Sakthivel, is his real prize. “I did not innovate for any recognition or merit. My greatest achievement is to sp inspire as many farmers as I can to take to organic farming methods. Organic Farming the only way farming as an occupation can be saved from declining trends as seen today,” he says. Myrada KVK in Gobichettypalayam under P Alagesan was instrumental in helping the farmer get national recognition and encouraging him.

Sakthivel can be reached at Mobile: 94863 16041.

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