Traditional farming, modern twists

We were recently acquainted with Mr. Balachandran, a farmer living in Kerala, who has been using Mahyco?s hybrid chilli- Sierra and Hybrid Okra-Okra No. 10. He shared his traditional marketing practices with us, which are surely innovative and modernized.

Living in Kollam district of Kerala, Mr. Balachandran has been farming for past many years, depending completely on it for his bread and and good profit. Initially he worked in gulf countries for many years and then returned to Kerala. Currently Mr. Balachandran grows most of the vegetables and bananas in 12 acres of land, a little less than half of which is his own and the rest he has acquired on lease. He shared with us that he has never used any chemical pesticides since he started using Mahyco?s Hybrid seeds.

Although Kerala gets bountiful rainfall every year and is rich in water resources, Mr. Balachandran is cognizant of the value of this non-replenishable resource. He shared that he has identified high yielding hybrids for almost all vegetable crops. High humidity environments are more prone to diseases and vegetable crops like tomato and brinjal seedlings get grafted on disease resistant root stocks. Mr. Balachandran understood the need of the hour and uses the disease resistant root stocks which have been grafted by the Kerala Agriculture University. He shared that he uses drip-irrigation for all his crops.

Mr. Balachandran recently opened a retail sales outlet (Krishimitra) for his produce, where he also sells fresh produce by other farmers. He displays the name and addresses of the farmers on their respective products. He has shared that the customers purchase his produce at a premium price as it is produced without using chemical pesticides. The revenue and profit are more than his estimates.

Mr. Balachandran proves that innovation and progressive thinking can improve the lifestyle and standard of living of a farmer. He sets an encouraging and motivating example for other small scale farmers and is an inspiration for many.