A tribal farmer raises 40 varieties of biodiversity plantation
Ravi P Benjamin, The Hindu
Tribal farmer Killo Dombu and his land cultivated under NABARD’s ‘Maa Thota’ scheme at Anthriguda hamlet in Ananthagiri mandal in Visakhapatnam district.
Killo Dombu of Anthriguda village in Dumbriguda mandal is proud of his achievements. Almost every plant is productive on his one-acre plot which yields cash crops. The innovative methods of cultivation adopted by him are a big draw today.
He is growing 40 varieties of horticulture plants, using bio-pesticides and adopting totally organic methods of cultivation. The crops being raised by him include vegetables, fruit plantations, forestry species, creeper vegetables, floriculture, tubers, oilseeds and medicinal plants. He has a bio-mass based manure pit in one corner of his plot. He also has cattle which give milk, cow dung and the stuff required for producing organic manure.
Dombu advocates growing multiple crops instead of mono-crop. His plantations include 40 plants each of mango, chiku, acid lime, red sanders, teak, bamboo, fish tail palm, jack, jamun, cluster apple, guava and Bahumia. Creeper varieties are pumpkin, beans, bottlegourd and ridgegourd. His plantation is fenced with trees such as euphorbia, agave and jetropha. Vegetables including brinjal, green pepper, chilli, pepper, rajma and cabbage are being grown as inter-crops along with medicinal plants.
P. Viswanatham, chairman of Vikasa, an NGO working to propagate organic farming among tribal farmers, told The Hindu that Dombu had been a source of inspiration to other ‘Maa Thota’ farmers. Dombu says that he is earning Rs.50,000 per year on the crop yield. Besides, the millet crops cultivated in his land take care of daily bread of his family members. A beaming Dombu shares his success story with his co-farmers and asks them to adopt his methods of farming. His wife, daughter and son-in-law together work in his ‘Maa Thota’ supported by NABARD. Not many visitors understand what he tries to communicate in chaste Odisha but the smile on his face and his green garden speak volumes for his achievement.