Koraput, 4 October
Sariaput, a small village with 46 households on the top of a hill near Chatwa in Nandapur block of Koraput district, has emerged as a role model for other villages in the region as it showed how to go organic and increase agricultural output without using chemical fertilizer or pesticides.
“We have decided that no amount of chemical fertilizer or pesticide will cross the railway tracks (read, will not reach the village). We have chosen to free our village from the use of harmful chemical substance though farmers of other areas are heavily dependent on them to increase production and protect the crops,” said Mr Dharmananda Guntha, an elderly villager.
With the active support of well-known NGO Pragati, the women in the village had come together in preparing to face the challenge of making the village free from the use of chemical substances in the field.
Forming ‘Sariaput Mahila Mandala’, a small group of women in the village was in itself a remarkable achievement.
The group prepared bio fertilizers and pest control liquid from cow dung, urine of cattle, specially formulated mixture of herbs and soil. Apart from using in the 50 acre land in and around the valley, the group had begun selling them to farmers in the neighbourhood villages, said Ms Bimla Guntha, secretary of the women&’s group.
While living in a safe and protected environment, the villagers greatly benefited for the implementation of systematic rice intensification (SRI) method in paddy cultivation over the last seven years.
Such a mode of cultivation had resulted in gathering much more tillers in the paddy field than using the traditional methods, she added. Such a case of an entire village adopting organic SRI was something unique and most praiseworthy achievement by the tribal communities in the region, Mr Prabhakar Adhikari, secretary of Pragati said.
Considering the great amount of interest among the villagers in going organic and self reliant, support was also extended for running goatery and poultry units by women groups in the village, he added.
Pragati mainly works with farmers promoting use of organic manure and herbal spray in addition to replication of SRI method in the region.