The Kuruvai Experiment in 2008(Edit)

We wanted to see how our land responds to hybrid seeds and kuruvai (april - august sowing season), so we did a trial of some hybrid (brought in by my caretaker Selvaraj - I don't know what variety it is) and planted 1.67 acres. All we did was to raise the seedbed and plant 20 day old saplings with an expenditure of around 3000 Rs /acre. The cost of weeding was Rs. 180 / acre. We did abuse the motor & ground water by flood irrigation - but our water consumption was almost 1/3 of the neighboring chemical farms.

And then we just did nothing! Watered the seedlings and then harvested in around 110 days.

For the first time in the history of Nitya Farm we paid harvesting wages in paddy itself (as we couldn't afford it earlier) .

The gross yield in this 1.67 acres was 41 bags of 60 kg each, which works out to 2460 kgs of paddy or 1475 kg /acre with zero inputs. Of which 10 bags were paid out as harvesting wages. The remaining 31 bags = 1860 kg. Even selling this at the govt MSP of Rs.10 / kg it works out to 18600 gross - 5000 expenses = 13600 Nett. If as usual we convert this to idli rice then we should realize around 1200 kg of rice which in todays market price of Rs 20/kg would fetch 24000 Rs. This would realize a nett of 12000/acre.

So paddy is really a cash crop, if we know how to cultivate and sell it!

I am convinced that an average family of 4-5 members living in a village with 4 acres of land can lead a really luxurious life. With 2 acres they can live a self-reliant and sufficient living. Yet a lot of my neighbors with 3 acre and 4 acre holdings cannot make ends meet and go for daily wages in other farms for their family upkeep or send their daughters to Tirupur as helpers in textile mills and hosiery units.

All our Industrial Growth and Development has achieved is to sow discontent in self-reliant villages and break the social fabric so that landlords are becoming laborers and get into debt and the environment is raped by the so called growth promoters.

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