Lawyer-turned-farmer shows the way

For advocate Prasada Varma, cultivating vegetables and raising different varieties of plants is a hobby. He spends some time in his mango garden before attending court.

“As a criminal lawyer, I argued several cases in the last ten years. But, doing farm work and growing organic food gives me a lot of satisfaction. I am raising vegetables and pulses in my five-acre mango garden without using fertilizers and chemicals,” Lakhamraju Durga Shankara Prasada Varma told The Hindu.

Mr. Prasada Varma grows brinjal, tomato, leafy vegetables, chilli and pulses like black gram, green gram, red gram and Bengal gram as inter crops in his mango orchard at Kothur-Tadepalli village on Vijayawada’s outskirts. There is great demand for vegetables grown without the use of pesticides, he said.

Zero budget

“I follow the tips given by natural farming proponent Subash Palekar. ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ protects the environment and some useful bacteria in the earth. Farmers should stop using pesticides and chemicals and take up natural farming to protect the endangered species in birds and animals,” he said.

Many people, particularly students, are visiting the garden to purchase vegetables, which are grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides, said Mr. Prasada Varma, adding that some ryots are arranging separate stalls and selling the products raised through natural farming, which will keep people away from diseases and doctors.

“The leaves that drop from the trees will dry and act as mulching. The process helps to grow micro organisms and earthworms and supply necessary nutrients to the plants,” the advocate explains.