VEGETABLE, RICE AND ANIMAL FARMING
In 2003, we decided to farm organically, after having seen the environmentally harmful consequences and the decline of ecosystem services that come alongside conventional farming methods.
Nowadays, we farm rice, vegetables–mostly tomatoes, chillies, brassicas, leafy vegetables, beans and tubers—and fruits, such as papaya, guavas and lemons. These, we sell directly on local markets and to a farmer’s cooperative (CSA).
We have a gene pool of around 108 varieties of rice, which are indigenous to India and Southeast Asia. We produce rice seeds as well as rice for commercial sale, including aromatic rice—called Joha—and sticky gum rice, black rice, soft rice etc. We grow around 20 acres of rice during monsoon from June until November. We also have fish cum paddy cultivation where we have rice and fishes together along with ducks. Azolla is also released in the paddy fields for enhancing nitrogens. Further, we inoculate Azospirillum and Phosphorus solubilizing bacteria-PSB by root treatment and we practise System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods too. Around 40% of our produced rice is being sold, 30% we use for seed production, 10% for research purposes and the rest for on-farm consumption.
Around 1/2 of our farmland is devoted to fish breeding and reproduction. We breed carp fish, catfish and anabas. To preserve the genetic purity, we do single breeding, as well as selective breeding. Further, we maintain a two-year rotation policy on breeding so that gene pool depression does not occur. Beyond the grown-up fish, we sell spawn fish (three-day-old fish), fry and fingerlings, for others to grow. Every year, we produce around 8000kg of grown fish, 8500000 spawn, and 600000 fish fry and fingerlings. Thus, we have 8 nursery tanks, 10 rearing tanks, 9 stocking tanks and 6 brood tanks, plus, we have fish breeding eco hatcheries. All fish are fed with in-house, organic feed.
38 cows and 50 ducks are an integral part of the farm. We do not only produce milk but the cow dung and cow urine are integral to the vermicompost and the bio pesticides.
16 honeycombs, which ensure better pollination and honey production, are all around the farm.
Currently, we produce around 300 metric tonnes of pure organic vermicompost manure. We also produce Vedic formulas like Panchagavya, Jeevaamrut, Sashyagavya, Amrutpani etc. and cow urine and neem-based biopesticides. We make anaerobic and aerobic compost and also Trichoderma based enhanced compost and biofertilizers. We provide around 80% of the vermicompost to Assam and its neighbouring states.