Meet Vinoth Kumar, an engineer with an MBA degree, who gave up his comfortable job and city life to become a full time organic farmer. He is also documenting traditional farming methods by reaching out to elderly farmers in India and other parts of Asia.About 95 km south of Chennai, along the east coast, is the charming village of Cheyyur – home to a 32-year-old organic farmer named Vinoth Kumar. Once a corporate employee living in the city, Vinoth now enjoys village life to the fullest.
“I come from an agricultural family. My grandfather was a full time farmer for more than six decades in Cheyyur,” says the passionate young man. But with the passage of time, many of his father’s ten siblings chose to migrate to the cities during the 60s and 70s. “My dad too was one of them. He worked as a principal in a school in Chennai,” he adds. However, despite relocating, the village was always a crucial part of Vinoth’s growing-up years. His family would go there over weekends and during vacations. His father continued with part-time farming, and life moved on. Vinoth went on to study electrical engineering at SRM University in Chennai, completed his MBA in HR, and finally began working at a reputed corporate firm.
Eventually, in 2011, tired of the same drill every single day, Vinoth decided to take a break and travel across India using his savings. That time, of one year and three months, led to a completely new chapter in his life. “I was travelling just to know what’s happening apart from my life, how people are living in different parts of India,” he says. But the journey shocked him. He was surprised that while industrial growth was happening in the country, the situation with respect to farming was miserable.
Many farmers in the different states he visited did not want their children to take up the profession because they were barely making any profits themselves.This was the sad reality of India the way he perceived it and Vinoth now had a clear idea about what he wanted to do in life. He went back to Chennai, and to his parents’ complete surprise, informed them that he wanted to take up farming as a full time profession.
He now grows millets, pulses and oilseeds in his fields and pays his bills with the profits made through farming alone. He chose these particular crops because they require very less water.He uses all the knowledge about farming acquired during his extensive travels, from his father, through training programs, and by volunteering in different fields.Work is not limited to his own fields alone.
Vinoth has taken up the responsibility of promoting organic farming in his village.Vinoth asks farmers to use organic fertilizers in place of chemical fertilizers in the first season of cultivation. Then, in the second season, he asks them to reduce the amount of chemical fertilisers used.This procedure leads to a slow transition to organic farming.Vinoth is also focussing on knowledge sharing. According to him, both central and state governments are coming up with many useful schemes for farmers but they are not informed about them. Hence, he wants his farm to be that place where anybody can walk in and enquire about the latest schemes, insurance options, the involved procedures, etc.
Vinoth has travelled across each and every district of Tamil Nadu where he’s met many old farmers who have been farming since the time when chemicals were not even introduced in India.According to him, less developed countries like Laos and Vietnam still utilise many traditional methods of farming that can be beneficial for India as well.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
source : better India