Increasing input costs due to inflation, lack of proper marketing facilities, an indifferent government policy and an unpredictable monsoon are some of the identified obstacles in farming operations.
“Except lowering the input costs all other issues are not in the hands of the poor farmer.
“A low cost, easy to manufacture and proven input, which increases the yield finds popularity immediately among the ryots. And Panchagavya (PG)- organic growth promoter -seems to be the perfect choice for many,” says Dr. Namalwar, organic scientist.
Several hundreds of organic farmers across the country today use PG for their crops.
“While referring to historical dates we use BC or AD. Similarly the history of the organic movement can be divided into two different eras, before PG and after PG,” says Dr. Namalwar.
An organic crop nutrient it can be easily made by farmers themselves and used as a spray for crops and mixed with water while irrigating.
“Compared to chemical sprays, in the market which boosts good growth and yield, absence of similar inputs in organic methods was the main reason for the slow spread of the organic movement in the country,” says Dr. Namalwar.
Dr. K. Natrajan, a practising physician and organic farmer from Kodumudi town, Erode, Tamil Nadu discovered PG nearly a decade back.
“I never thought that our farmers would use PG in such massive quantities when I devised it,” he says.
So overwhelming was the response from farmers across the country, that the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, did a scientific study on PG and submitted a report stating that PG does increase yield.
In fact the University also started marketing PG to farmers. “Being pocket-friendly accounts for its main popularity,” says Dr. Natrajan. One litre of PG can be manufactured at a cost of Rs. 20 if the inputs have to be bought (if the inputs are available in the farm, then there is no cost).
An acre requires about three litres of PG as spray. If mixed with irrigating water then 20 litres will be sufficient.
The following inputs are required for its manufacture:
About five kg of fresh cow dung, three litres of cow’s urine, two litres of cow’s milk, curd (made from cow’s milk) and toddy each, 500 gm of cow’s ghee, three litres of sugarcane juice and tender coconut water each and 12 bananas. Cow dung and ghee are mixed well in a plastic drum and covered with a lid. For three days the mixture should be stirred well once during the morning and evening. On the fourth day all the other inputs are added and stirring continued for 15 days.
On the 18th day, PG solution can be used either as a spray (after filtering) or along with irrigation. PG made by this method can be stored for nearly six months.
At regular intervals tender coconut water, sugarcane juice or jaggery diluted in water must be added and stirred well. In the unavailability of sugarcane juice about 500 gm of jaggery diluted in three litres of water can be used.
Similarly in the absence of toddy, two litres of tender coconut water sealed in an airtight plastic bottle for a week (in a week it will transform into toddy) can be used. In the absence of tender coconut water, two litres of black grape juice can be used.
Apart from crops Dr. Natrajan advocates PG as a medicine for cattle and poultry. “Cows yield more milk (nearly 2 litres more) when they are fed with PG.
Similarly the egg laying capacity in poultry chicken also increases. Animals which are fed with PG have been known to be more healthy and resistant to several diseases,” he says.
For more information on PG, marketing and training, contact Dr. K. Natrajan, Rural community action centre, R.S. Hospital campus, Bypass Road, Kodumudi, Erode: 638151, Tamil Nadu, phone: 04204-222469 and 222369, mobile: 9443358379.