To fertilise or not to fertilise is an existential dilemma for a farmer. Narayana Reddy once took the advice of a stray Californian tourist and decided to go organic on his farm at Varthur near Bangalore.
His success has been phenomenal, so much so that representatives from the European Community (EC) have visited his farm.
The early days were so tough that he came close to committing suicide. But he struggled on, having thrown away “all the books on agriculture that farmers are taught to follow”. Finally, the tide turned. His farm now produces soyabeans, peanuts. coffee, guavas, chikoos and mulberries.
His coconut trees yield 150 fruit each annually, as opposed to the 40 they used to yield earlier. His big moment came when the EC invited him to an agriculture seminar in Brussels last month.
Clever man that he is, he saved Rs 30,000 from the expenses he was paid and plans to sink the money into a school for organic farming. Reddy’s mission is to give people food for thought about the right way to farm.
Here is an Interaction with Nadoja Varthuru Narayana Reddy recorded on 01.01.2017