Progressive farmers are not only turning to organic farming but have also become choosy with the crops they cultivate given the demand for healthy food nowadays

Suryapet: Organic farming seems to be catching up in Telangana on the back of several initiatives being offered by the State government to promote this healthy practice. Progressive farmers are not only turning to organic farming but have also become choosy with the crops they cultivate given the demand for healthy food nowadays.

Sadineni Jaggaiah from Janpahad of Palakeedu mandal in the district is one such farmer who has taken up organic cultivation of eight varieties of paddy that have medicinal values. After cultivating crops for three decades using chemical fertilizers, Jaggaiah realised that this practice was not only taking a toll on soil health but also had an impact on the health of people.

Three years ago, he decided to switch to organic farming on his five acres of land. And the most satisfying part — he never faced losses though the yield took a hit. The high demand for different varieties of paddy chosen by him reaped enough profits to motivate him.

Passionate about agriculture, he encouraged his daughter to pursue BSc in Agriculture.

Jaggaiah cultivates eight varieties of paddy — Navara, Kalabath, Kullakar, Mysore Malli, Narayana Kamini, Siddi Sannalu, Mathale Samba and Ratna Chodi — which have high demand since it is believed that these varieties help in keeping under check some serious diseases. After milling his produce, he sells his rice to customers in Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Vishakhapatnam and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana. The price of these varieties ranges from Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg.

Speaking to Telangana Today, Jaggaiah said Navara rice helps people suffering from diabetics, obesity and joint pains. “It is traditionally consumed during the monsoon months and is used extensively in the famed navara kizhi Ayurvedic treatment. Navara is a rice endemic to Kerala,” he said.

Similarly, Kalabhat is an aromatic black rice variety which is believed to work as a preventive food for cancer. Thulakat (brown) rice is considered good for pregnant women and in delivering a healthy baby. “There is also a belief that Thulakat rice ensures normal delivery,” he said.

Stating that the Mysore Malli variety is rich in proteins, minerals and carbohydrates, Jaggaiah said it helps in building immunity and stamina. “It also helps in correcting hormone imbalance. Narayana Kamini rice has 30-40 per cent fibre content and is good for people suffering from arthritis and digestion.

Siddi Sanna rice is also healthy because it contains high fibre and proteins. Mathulai Samba helps in curing sexual disorders and solves infertility problem,” he said, adding that Rathna Cheri rice gives instant energy. This rice was included in the menu for soldiers in earlier days, he added.

Jaggaiah’s father Rosaiah, who is 90 years old, says he can carry out agricultural works. “After we started cultivating these varieties, I seem to have gotten rid of my health issues and also feel energetic,” he said.


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