Voluntarily relocated tribal man, Vijaya, was honoured as a 'Superstar Farmer' by the Kannada newspaper Vijaya Karnataka in Mysore on 27 November 2020.
Vijaya Karnataka daily is identifying progressive farmers with help from the experts for the last couple of years. Vijaya, a first-generation farmer who is also a primitive tribe, was selected for this award from the Heggadadevana Kote Taluk.
Vijaya’s father Puttaiah was a resident of Maladahadi tribal settlement of Antharasanthe Wildlife Range of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. During 2007-08 he relocated to Sollepura voluntary-relocation centre developed by Karnataka Forest Department with financial support from Project Tiger. Puttaiah was allotted one house and three acres of farm in Sollepura.
The acres allotted to Puttaiah were divided between between his son, Vijaya, and two daughters, Manjula and Sunadri. Even after the death of Puttaiah and Kempamma, all the family members were staying in the same house.
However, after his father's passing, Vijaya took farming seriously. During 2013-14, he leased his three acres of farm to a contractor who cultivated ginger. Instead of getting a lease amount in cash, Vijaya asked the contractor for a tube well. Once he got the tube well, we facilitated this family to avail of pipes and sprinkler jets from the Government Agriculture and Social Welfare Departments. In 2018, he was provided with the benefit of drip irrigation for one acre of land from the Government Social Welfare Department.
By 2018, with our support and different government departments, and guidance from our Community Organiser, Govindappa H. L., Vijaya became a model farmer. He started cultivation of short-term, long-term crops, and both food crops and cash corps. JSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra and GKVK also helped by providing farm inputs and advice.
In 2019, he sold 110 quintals of maize from just three acres of land. In 2019-2020, he sold 950 kgs of Chia for Rs. 1,54,000, bananas for 7 lakh rupees, sweet pumpkin for Rs. 24,000, beans for Rs. 16,000, and Mangalore Cucumber for Rs. 18,000.
In three acres of land, Vijaya has planted coconut, areca nut, silver oak, mango, and pepper plants, with the generous backing of Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited and NatWest India Foundation who have been supporting our livelihood initiatives to beneficiaries of the government sponsored voluntary relocation programme. He has also installed honeybee boxes, and reared a cow and three goats.
To expand his farming this year, he has taken six acres on lease and cultivated banana.