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Climate-smart farmers make Drumstick Farming a success in this AP district

 Farmers across India are attached to their land. They deem it as their life. While they are the ones who expect the most returns from their land, there is also a lack of knowledge on how to yield a effective crop. It is also evident that they are ready to implement any changes that will increase their yield. However, they lack the right medium of guidance to enhance their crop productivity. But Save Indian Farmers (SIF) has been working with farmers across different regions of the country, to educate and create awareness on better cropping patterns and best practices. 
 
Cultivation with Drip irrigation
 
Considering the recurrent droughts faced by Prakasam district in the state, several farmers from the district had taken to Drumstick farming. Given that the crop yields round the year, many farmers are preferring the drought-tolerant and high-yielding variety of drumsticks introduced to them by the SIF team. They have also added drip irrigation to their land for better yields. 
 
Moringa or drumstick is one among the rare horticulture crops, a widely used ingredient in Indian food, sustains for eight to nine years, within six months of planting. According to experts, Drumstick cultivation is easy, less time-consuming and promises handsome returns as well. 
 
Additionally, every part of drumstick is useful, including its medicinal properties. The greatest advantage is that it can be grown in a variety of soils. However, loamy and sandy loam soils are best suited to grow this crop. It also sustains in Sodic soils and dry conditions.
 
Climate-smart agriculture
 
Interestingly, Moringa cultivation can be mixed other crops via inter-crop cultivation. Other crops can be tomatoes, cowpea, okra or with coconut palms, chillies, beans, pomegranate and guava. A drumsticks farm produces 30-50 tonnes of drumsticks every year, which sells from Rs.10 rupees to 50 rupees a kg in the wholesale market, fetching approximately Rs. 2 lakh to 4 lakh a year. Such climate-smart horticulture improvisations are attracting several farmers, young professionals, agriculturists and other people into moringa farming. 
 
Happy Farmers, Handsome returns
 
Irigala Brahma Reddy, a Farmer from Venkatapuram village with his 3-acre farm has become a shining example of dry-land farming at its best. He shares is another success story of growing moringa, with a sparse vegetative landscape, the sun beating at 40 degrees and the squat houses widely distributed. He has become an example of destination for the Drumsticks. In his own words he is very thankful to SIF for the education, drip and sapplings sponsorship. He had earned a profit of almost rupees of Rs.1 lakh and expects another Rs. 1 lakh for the year, despite the ground water levels witnessing a heavy dip due to over-exploitation and digging of borewells.
 
Another farmer, Chakkara Bhulpal Reddy, who has about 2 acres of land, opted for drumsticks irrigation with cross cultivation of Chillies and Beans. As of January 2019, the yield amounted to 2,000 kgs of drumsticks in his 2 acre farm where it gave him about Rs. 1.3 lakh after investing Rs. 35,000 initially on the crop. With the help of drip irrigation and proper education from SIF team, Bhupal Reddy is happy to have chosen mooring cultivation despite the challenges of climate change. 
 
Setti Vaari Srinu from Giddalur of Prakasam district, has about 1.5 acre of farmland and has taken to drumstick cultivation with drop irrigation on his land. In six months, he was able to take the drumsticks to local market around 3 times. He has earned Rs. 80,000 profit with the 3 harvests and is expecting at least 4 more harvests this year. Each time, depending on the price for drumsticks, he expects to earn at least Rs. 35,000.
 
Narayana Reddy, another farmer from the district, has about 2 acres of land and had a tough time last year. He was advised by the SIF team and adopted the drumsticks cultivation this year. He is a happy farmer as he took his first yield to the local market and got handsome returns. He expects the total returns this year to reach at Rs. 2-3 lakh.
 

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