K M Dayashankar
KARIMNAGAR: Madamma Veeraiah, a farmer from Thimmapur mandal headquarters has emerged as role in horticulture by cultivating ridge-gourd in his 20 guntas (less than half acre) of land and earning an average of Rs 2 lakh in three to four months period.
Instead of traditional methods of farming, Veeraiah with the support of agriculture department authoritie decided to do things differently and implement new techniques to increase productivity and generate better income in less land.
Accordingly, he had taken up ridge-gourd crop cultivation by erecting pandals and mulching the base to create small plant beds, which not only prevents weed growth but also increases moisture retention capacity. He bought VNR-Aarthi brand seeds and cultivated the vegetable crop, which is popular dish in every household.
The fruiting of the crop starts from 45 to 60 days from date of sowing and can be harvested up to 90 to 100 days. He had harvested 8 to 10 tonnes of crop and sold at an average price of Rs 25,000 per tonne and earned Rs 2 lakhs within three months.
The farmer invested only Rs 21,000 including seeds Rs 2,600, labour charges Rs 12,000, cattle manure Rs 3,500 and pesticides Rs 3,000. After removing all the expenses incurred, the farmer easily earned Rs 2 lakhs by selling the vegetable crop in the wholesale market in Karimnagar town.
Agricultural technology management agency (ATMA) project director N Priyadarshini said that the farmers can reap riches in less time by taking up vegetable cultivation through pandal and mulching technology.