As the country braces itself for yet another bad monsoon, Syed Ghani Khan, a farmer in Karnataka’s Mandya district, is hoping to fight it with traditional farming techniques like multi-cropping and minor millet cultivation. These are the two techniques that helped the farmer from the remote village of Kirugavalu navigate the water crisis during the last three kharif seasons. Largely a paddy farmer in a dryland area, Khan was able to feed his family of 15 and also make a profit of Rs 2 lakh.
Khan, 42, isn’t just another organic farmer, though. He’s a collector and conservationist of traditional seeds, which are housed in a seed museum that he runs. So far, he has conserved 120 traditional mango varieties, over a thousand paddy varieties from all over the world and hundreds of millet seed varieties.