Cauvery Calling conducts a Mega Seminar on Tree-Based Agriculture in Trichy
About 1,500 farmers from all over Tamil Nadu participated in this. Many other pioneer farmers and agronomists joined the seminar to provide proper guidelines to the farmers who were being introduced to tree-based agriculture.
“Farmers can earn 3-5 times more profit than normal crops,” shared farmers who are now pioneering tree-based agriculture.
Cauvery Calling, a movement to support farmers to plant 242 crore trees and revitalize Cauvery, conducted a mega tree-based agriculture seminar in Trichy today.
The seminar was organized on the farm of Dr. Duraisamy, a farmer pioneering tree-based agriculture, on 18 Sep 2022. He is the owner of the agricultural forest called 'Little Ooty', which has more than 1 lakh different types of trees. About 1,500 farmers from all over Tamil Nadu participated in this. Many other pioneer farmers and agronomists joined the seminar to provide proper guidelines to the farmers who were being introduced to tree-based agriculture.
Mr. Poomalai, a tree-based agriculture farmer from the Cuddalore district, revealed, "Mountain neem can be harvested and sold in a very short time. I recently sold mountain neem grown in my 3-acre garden for Rs.12 lakhs. Along with trees, I am also cultivating pepper in the plains.”
“The pepper vine starts fruiting from the fourth year. A kilo of pepper is currently selling for Rs.1000. 300 kg to 400 kg of pepper can be grown per acre. That way, we will get an additional profit of 3 to 4 lakh rupees per year from pepper alone," he added.
Mr. Mayavel, a scientist at the Institute of Forest Genetics and Plant Breeding in Coimbatore said, “The demand for wood in India is 153 million cubic meters per year. Only about 50-60 percent of the demand can be met domestically. We import timber in large quantities from foreign countries for the remaining requirement. Hence, farmers can see profit from tree farming. Depending on the soil, water quality and the maintenance of the farmers, mountain neem can be harvested and profited from in 6-7 years. Currently, a tonne of neem for plywood is being sold at Rs.8,500. About 125 tonnes can be harvested from one acre.”
Retired Associate Director of Agriculture Dr. Haridas elaborated on the multiple ways of profiting from jackfruit trees. He said, “According to the current estimate, a jackfruit tree can generate a revenue of Rs 1 crore from fruit and Rs 1 crore from wood for 50 years. Apart from selling the fruit directly, it can be sold in other ways like jam, alva, biryani, coffee, etc. The jackfruit tree is not only beneficial to the environment but also has medicinal properties to prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity and constipation.”
Speaking at the function, Mr. Tamizhamaran, Field Coordinator of the Cauvery Calling Movement, said, “Due to the efforts of Sadhguru and the fieldwork carried out by volunteers of Cauvery Calling, the interest of farmers to switch to tree-based agriculture has increased. As a result, despite the pandemic, we have distributed 2.1 crore saplings to farmers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Puducherry in the past two years. This year, we plan to distribute one crore saplings in Tamil Nadu alone. Based on many years of direct experience in this field, we have witnessed farmers who adopt tree-based agriculture earn 3-5 times more profit than those growing conventional crops like paddy and sugarcane.”
The seminar's opening ceremony witnessed the participation of Dr. Duraisamy, his daughter Dr. Vinola and many other pioneer farmers, including Mr. Thirumalai, Mr. Iraman and Mr. Pakyaraj.
Cauvery Calling is an on-ground demonstration of the river revitalization model proposed by the Rally for Rivers (RfR) campaign that Sadhguru launched in 2017. It aims to revitalize Cauvery River and the soil in the river basin and improve farmers' economy and the environment. A total of 242 crore trees will be planted in private farmlands in the Cauvery River basin over the next 12 years to achieve these objectives.
A total of 2.1 crore saplings have been planted so far in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Karnataka, and 1.25 lakh farmers have adopted the tree-based farming model promoted by Cauvery Calling. Due to this, nearly 70,000 farmers have reported a substantial rise in their income – between 300-800 percent.