Smt. Chenamma,30, is a vegetable farmer of village Antarahalli, in Bangalore rural district. She has a landholding of 7 acres having irrigated, rainfed and agro-forestry areas. She started growing vegetables namely French Beans, Tomato, Peas, Radish, Brinjal, Chilli and green leafy vegetables for the last three years. Earlier, she used to grow field crops like ragi, jowar and sunflower, but the income was not satisfactory. She is now growing improved French Beans varieties of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore (Arka Suvidha, Arka Komal & Arka Anoop).
The yield of French beans ranged from 16.5 –17.4 t/ha which is the highest in the near by villages. Arka Suvidha variety fetched more price in market as it is a stringless variety. Whenever labour problem is there harvesting can be done even after a gap of upto 5 days as the fruits of this variety do not loose its quality. Yield wise Arka Anoop is found to be the best. She could get 6,960 kg /acre and the variety was also resistant to important diseases like rust and bacterial blight. She got a market price of about Rs.11/kg for Arka Suvidha compared to Arka Anoop and Arka Komal (where she fetched Rs.10/kg). She now prefers to grow Arka Anoop and Arka Suvidha because of their additional qualities and high yield. According to Smt. Chenamma, Arka Anoop and Arka Suvidha are having good cooking quality. Arka Suvidha fetches higher price in the market because it is preferred by working women.
Earlier, Smt. Chenamma as a small time farmer used to bring her vegetables for sale at important markets of Bangalore. Once she started growing in large scale, neighboring vegetable vendors came to know about her produce and quality of the vegetable grown in the field of Smt. Chenamma. Hence, the vendors come to her place and purchase the produce at attractive price.
The seeds of improved varieties were provided for demonstrations by the IIHR during the year 2005. After knowing the performance of these varieties Smt. Chenamma visited and interacted with scientists of IIHR and procured the seeds. She started growing improved varieties from 2006 and she is realizing continuously higher yields. Smt. Chenamma was constantly in touch with extension division of IIHR and as a follow up, extension scientist visited her field regularly. She has been provided with all the need based knowledge and skill, which included enrichment of fertilizer and pest management.
During her visit to IIHR, she came to know about the vegetable special for the tomato, beans and other vegetables. The recommended dosage of vegetable special for tomato is 75 grams in 15 litres of water along with 1 shampoo sachet and 2 medium sized lemons. For French Beans, it is 2 grams per litre. She is now using vegetable special regularly as she has noticed that the fruit quality and diseases resistance of the plant is improved. It also helps in retaining more number of flowers, thus increase in the fruit set leading to higher yield.
For enrichment of soil, she started using both bio-fertilizer (Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB), Azospirillum and Azotobacter) and bio-pesticides (Pseudomonas fluoresces, Paecilomyces lilacinus & Pochonia chlamydospria). She has also started growing other improved varieties like, Arka Anand (a hybrid green long Brinjal from IIHR, resistant to bacterial wilt) and chillies Arka Meghana and Arka Shwetha
The key to her success seems to her eagerness to learn and understand quickly, hard work and positive attitude. She is a model vegetable farmer for the region.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA with inputs from IIHR, Bangalore)