TIRUNELVELI: Madasamy, a 56-year-old farmer of Melaseval village, Tirunelveli district, who was a laughing stock of his village a few years ago for trying his hand at organic farming, is now revered as ‘farmers guide’ by his fellow farmers.
Weird it may sound, but he has now around 150 fellow farmers following him, desisting chemical fertilizers and shifted to organic farming, despite it being not so profitable at present. Discussion with the humble farmer Madasamy gave us a glimpse of how his mission of shifting to organic farming succeeded by the intervention of Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of the Sundaram-Clayton limited and TVS motor company limited.
It, however, was not a smooth ride for farmer Madasamy, who found it difficult to get adequate organic manure for the crop grown in his two acres. He had to spend more for cow dung manure as he collected it from different places. Then came Murugan, the field director of Srinivasan Services Trust, whose support helped Madasamy successfully reap his crops that subsequently brought many of his villagers to organic farming.
Now, the farmers doing organic farming in Melaseval village in the Cheranmagadevi taluk have been brought together as Farmers’ Volunteer Group (vivasayigal arvalar kuzhu) by the SST field staffs, who too helped the Melaseval farmers manufacture organic agriculture inputs like ‘panchagavya’, pesticide using ginger, garlic and green chilly. “We too sell these organic farm inputs to outsiders at a nominal cost,” said farmer Sivasubramanian, who also does organic farming in his one acre of land. The SST is also helping the organic farmers of Melaseval set up a vermin-composting unit in the village.
Speaking to DC on the transformation of the Melaseval farmers, SST field director, Murugan said that his agency identified the problems that farmers faced and help them arrive at local solutions using available resources thereby transforming the attitude of the farmers towards organic farming.
The mission of the SST, however, has not been completed without creating a fully farmers managed selling point for the organic produces, so that the farmers could have direct link with the consumers. The SST field director Murugan, heeding to this demand of the farmers, assured his agency’s help in marketing their organic farm produce.
The SST of the TVS group that has been in the social outreach programme much before the formulation of section 135, CSR rules 2014 in the companies act that prescribes mandatory provisions for companies to fulfill their corporate social responsibility. They have de-silted a rain-fed tank at Papankulam near Moolaikaraipatti in Tirunelveli district for `14 lakh and restored crop cultivation in around 120 acres this year. In recognition of SST’s work in renovating traditional water bodies in Tirunelveli district, the agency received the ‘best CSR partner award-2019’ under the ‘Jal Shakthi Abhiyan scheme’.