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The Green Life: Survival of the Freshest: A Success Story

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September 13, 2010

Survival of the Freshest: A Success Story

IStock_000005593282XSmall Let's hope you don't think organic farming is good for anything, because obviously, it isn't. But in order to stick to that argument, one would have to read the story of a 68-year-old farmer from the Molakamuru region of Karnataka, India, and ignore pretty much every single part of it.

If you looked down on Molakamuru from space, you'd see a lot of brown. These vast farmlands exist in a part of India that sees rain... precious, precious rain... less often than anywhere else in the state. (In 2004, The Hindu newspaper bothered to point out that they had gotten a "more than average" amount from January to May: 7.17 inches.) 

But a farmer named Veerabhadrappa is making it work. His home in Karnataka sees just 22.56 inches of rain per year. Yet somehow, a wonderland of greenery flourishes out of his soil: bananas, coconut, bamboo; a variety of trees; a collection of farm animals.

How does he do it? With the aid of biotech professors from the Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology through a training program sponsored by India's government. It's helped him produce 80 acres of clean farmland, featuring no chemical pesticides, made possible by recycling rainwater, fertilizing with natural manure, and using the land's own cycle of supply and demand. Veerabhadrappa is now respected and studied amongst his peers, and the program is also helping other farmers take great strides toward utilizing their resources to the fullest.

--Justin Klugh


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