Sharmili Mallick

Rourkela: Amid rapid degradation and pollution of natural resources of land and water, declining soil fertility, pesticide pollution and the problem of pest-resistance, farmers are now switching to alternative sustainable ways to conserve soil through organic farming.

Setting example for farmers in Odisha, 77-year-old, Uday Chandra Patra from Rourkela, a retired mechanic, is now scripting his success story in growing bananas through organic farming on several acres of land inside the campus of National Institute of Technology (NIT) in the steel city.

“We have grown worms in open pits which are used in the banana plants. Besides, we add an organic compost made up of a mixture of cow dung, curd, jaggery, chilly, ginger, neem and karanja leaves and many other medicinal plants which helps the trees to be healthy,” said Patra.

“Bananas do not grow in hilly terrain. The land here is hilly but we successfully grew bananas here. It was only possible because of the organic procedures,” added Patra.

Patra started banana farming around six months back. He is also supplying the self-prepared organic fertilizers at Rs 10 per kilogram to other farmers in Paralakhemundi of Gajapati district, Berhampur, Aska and Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district, Nayagarh, Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district and Rayagada.

“We are producing around 1500 tonnes of organic fertilizers in a year,” informed Patra.

Patra who has imparted training on organic farming to farmers in Hyderabad and several places of Odisha has appealed people to opt for organic farming which can be instrumental in reducing pollution.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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