Ryot first, Neta second: Niranjan Reddy transforms his land into instructional farm in Telangana


Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A farmer was taken by surprise, a few years ago, when a fruit trader approached him and offered Rs 6 per kg for his pumpkins. Not happy with this price, he transported the entire produce to the Kothapet fruit market for sale, where the price came down to Rs 5 per kg. Offended and angered over this, the ryot decided to give away all the pumpkins he raised to the people of Wanaparthy for free. 

That farmer, who did not bow down to the traders who tried to fleece him and took pride in being a ryot, is none other than Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy. Leading by example, Niranjan Reddy has been an inspiration to many by the virtue of his passion for agriculture in general and more specifically for organic farming.

With determination, Niranjan has transformed his 50 acres at Kethepalle village in Pangal mandal into an instructional farm for experimentation and learning. His farm boasts 12-14 varieties of mangoes in 30 acres with each tree having a unique identification number which helps in monitoring, tracking and treating the trees’ growth with precision and perfection.

Apart from mangoes, the Minister also grows Manikchaman grape, custard apple, papaya, guava, dragon fruit, water apple, lychee, jamun and other fruit varieties, in addition to brinjal, tomatoes, chillies, cabbage, capsicum, bitter gourd, okra and other leafy vegetables.

Intercropping of leafy vegetables, marigold and chrysanthemum flowering plants between the mango trees and growing sandalwood and areca nut trees on the bunds have been done to optimise the use of space.
The workers who live at the farm consume the veggies and the flowers grown are used for decoration works. S Vasanthi, his better half, plays an equally important role by managing the field and workers. She not only gathers various plants, but also plans where they should be planted in the farm.

Niranjan has also been raising over a hundred cows, six bulls, 40 sheep, backyard poultry and a ducks to promote integrated farming.He has been certified by Eurocet for Good Agricultural Practices and by Telangana State Seeds Organic Certification Authority for organic farming.

Before the pandemic, he showed the way by exporting mangoes to Europe and during the pandemic last year, his mangoes, which were branded ‘SNR Mangoes’, were shipped to Bengaluru to be delivered at residential communities predominantly inhabited by IT employees. Techies living in 40 such communities in Bengaluru organised themselves and made one person in-charge from each community to prepare indent and procure fruits and vegetables directly from the farmers.

Last summer, Niranjan used this network called ‘Namma Farmer’ which conceptualised farm-to-home method to market and deliver his mangoes to those who had placed orders. This has reportedly been a win-win situation for farmers like him and techie consumers.

12-14: Varieties of mangoes are being grown in 30 acres with each tree having a unique id number

Fruits aplenty: Apart from mangoes, the Agriculture Minister also grows Manikchaman grape, custard apple, papaya, guava, dragon fruit, water apple, lychee, jamun and other fruit varieties

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