31 Aug Here’s how farmers in Karnataka’s drought-hit districts have increased crop yields
Two years ago, Naganna, then 34 years old, abandoned his 30 guntas (0.75 acre) of drought-ravaged agriculture land at Uppulgerikopplu village in Mandya district in Karnataka and moved with his wife and two children to the big, bright city of Bengaluru. He took up work as a decoration assistant for weddings and earned Rs 6,000 a month.
“I had to pay for food and other expenses even during work hours.” He stuck it out for two months and the wedding season came to an end, along with his work. Disheartened, “I realised I could not maintain my family in that big city,” he said. “We came back to our village.” At that time, a young agriculture graduate, Anand L, from the neighbouring Hassan district, was brimming with ideas, talking to every farmer he could lay his eyes on.
Naganna listened with disbelief as Anand, an employee of a fresh produce supply chain company called Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF), dished out advice on how to improve crop yields from his small holding by using better seeds, less fertiliser, science, technology and inter-cropping. He also spoke of better packaging of vegetables that Naganna used to grow on his land, better marketing and better returns. “I decided to take a chance,” Naganna told ET Magazine.