A small group of progressive farmers in Santhanuthalapadu in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh has quit the cultivation of tobacco, the principal commercial crop in the district, to grow organic fruits and vegetables.
After burning their fingers growing the “negative” crop — tobacco— the price of which is governed more by the global demand-supply situation, they decided to go in for organic fruits and vegetables.
Now, they are satisfied as they no longer grow the “cancer-causing tobacco”, they said in a conversation with The Hindu. They use only natural fertilizer “’ganajeevamrutham,’” produced with cow-dung and cow urine, and biopesticides made from neem and other leaves.
“There is no problem in marketing the organic vegetables and fruits, as health-conscious people come to our farms from Ongole and other places to buy the farm fresh produce,” says farmer D. Yellamanda Reddy, who grows among other vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, brinjal and tomato. “We …