What does this Farming School's aim going to be. Genius concept.
Who said that if you have studied engineering, you must become an Engineer? If you are an MBBS, MD, you don't have to wear a white coat necessarily. Same is the case with everything. Isn't it? It's just one life and you gotta do what makes you happy in the right way. And if your work is doing what is right for the community, then what else will you need? A student of BITS Pilani followed his heart and has embraced the soil whose ultimate goal is to set up a farming school. Let's enter into Sidhartha Namburi's farm and know how this BITS graduate cultivated love for farming.
An Assignment Changed It All
Sidhartha, a student of Mechanical Engineering in BITS, Pilani was given an assignment where he was supposed to choose one topic of social impact and work upon it. After severe brainstorming, Sidhartha decided to get into political internship and learn more about politics. Then, he happened to hear about JD Lakshminarayana who was visiting farms and interacting with farmers.
To learn something from his vast knowledge and experience, Sidhartha decided to join him for a year. He interacted with farmers, politicians, bureaucrats, etc. and understood how vast agriculture is. This gave him clarity about how the system works and he could also make out the ways to mend it. Low income makes farmers leave agriculture ultimately leading them to opt for alternate professions.
I wanted to educate and make farmers know the value and demand of agriculture and what our country is losing by letting them go.
Stepping Into The Soil:
Sidhartha's father owned a solar plant along with other partners in Kolanupaka in Telangana and has also bought an extra 50 acres for expansion. Sidhartha took this land for starting his farming activities. In about 16 acres of land, he set up Arhyama Farms. He started with building a pond on one acre of land that stores up to six lakh litres of water. He wanted to grow indigenous crops in a natural way as healthy eating has become a choice for everyone these days.
What was most important for me was growing indigenous crops that are not grown commercially. And since healthy eating is in vogue now, these treasures of Indian food have a shot in the market, says the youngster. In his farm, he started growing kala batti (black rice), red jasmine (scented basmati-type red rice) and another four indigenous pulses including vegetables like okra.
Namburi attended various farmer meetings and used social media greatly to invite youngsters to work along with him. Whatever profits he earned, he promised to share with them. That's how, another young farming enthusiast joined him. The two constructed a house on the farm, brought a farmer's family to live with them to assist them in the agricultural practices.
"While half-acre of paddy is being grown using drip irrigation, it is slow, but other crops, which we sowed in June, are on track," says the youngster. He also grows Pancha ratna (black rice), Narayana kamini (six-feet-tall black paddy, white rice), Ratnachaudi (red paddy white rice), Sidda sannam (desi thin rice) in his farm. Sidhartha also grows three indigenous varieties of bananas including chakkarakeli summing to a total of 2,700 saplings growing on the farm. Alongside farming, he also educates other farmers and guides them on reaching the public directly instead of depending on traders.
Sidhartha was one of the student leaders who spearheaded the BITS fee hike protest throughout the country. He was a part of various programmes like the Vision India Foundation and Centre for Leadership and Governance. He was the Program Coordinator, Associate Director and Head of Operations, Uni Mobility. His desire to contribute for the society and the change he wanted to see in the country pulled him into politics and he joined the Jana Sena Party.
Sidhartha's aim is to start a seed museum and a farming school in future.
Let's wish this "man with purpose" great success and may Indian agriculturist flourish with the combined efforts of young minds like Sidhartha.
If you Like to contribute to this Page, Please Drop us a Mail.