It was in 2017 when Bindu decided to explore organic farming as she realised that conventional farming techniques were not yielding the desired results.

Woman farmer sows seeds of innovation in Tamil Nadu's Theni 1

THENI: In the quiet village of Bomminayakanpatti in Theni district, P Bindu is nothing short of a heroine. The 42-year-old Bindu, born into a farmer’s family in Periyankulam, is the one who defied all odds and rose to prominence as a trailblazing organic farmer. She not only sowed the seeds of innovation but transformed her family’s fortunes through her farming practices.

Her journey from a Class 10 pass out to an award-winning farmer is a testament to her dedication and pursuit of a better life.

Like other women in the community, she was married off at a young age. Her journey towards innovative farming really began five years ago from her husband Pitchai’s seven acres of land. In the beginning, they struggled to make ends meet.


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However, she soon adopted new techniques and converted agricultural produce into value-added products such as vadagam, pickles and jams, boosting her family’s revenue.

It was in 2017 when Bindu decided to explore organic farming as she realised that conventional farming techniques were not yielding the desired results.

Bindu says, “In order to earn more profit, we started organic farming. I visited Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and underwent skill-based training on post-harvest processing and packaging of fruits and vegetables.”

The programme, part of the submission on the Agriculture Extension Scheme implemented by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management in Hyderabad, opened up a world of possibilities to her.

Now, tomato, brinjal and lady’s finger are some of the vegetables grown organically on the farm.

“It also helped me acquire knowledge on different aspects of value-added products from locally available farm produce. I have developed more than 10 value-added products and am selling them under the brand PASUMAI. It helps me earn Rs 10,000 a month,” she said.


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One of Bindu’s most significant innovations was to intercrop tomatoes, brinjals, and other vegetables in a banana field. Typically, banana trees take eight months to yield, but by cultivating vegetables in the same space, she secured a regular stream of income in a matter of months.

Guided by KVK, she optimised production and developed marketing strategies.

She is now attempting to scale up production and set up permanent shops in KVK and horticulture college premises to sell her produce.

“I have applied for a loan from the district industrial centre (DIC) to purchase machines. I have learnt about shelf-life enhancement techniques and different types of packaging material and their uses. I am also developing marketing strategies with the support of the marketing department, NABARD rural mart, and KVK,” said Bindu, proudly recalling her achievements in recent years.

“Organic farming is the need of the hour. Using chemical pesticides makes land poisonous. Homemade organic pesticides made from ginger, garlic, and pepper are prepared to control insects. Insects stay away from the plants if organic pesticides are used, thereby yielding good crops and better income,” she said.


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Besides, her advocacy for organic farming extends to her role as president of the PASUMAI self-help group, where she provides support to her fellow members.

Beyond agriculture, Bindu’s journey has empowered her socially and financially. She stands as a beacon of hope for other women in the community, proving that they can be financially independent and successful too.

Bindu has prioritised her daughters’ education, inspiring them to pursue higher studies. Her elder daughter is pursuing an ME in Chennai while her younger daughter is studying nursing.

In recognition of her contribution to agriculture and beyond, Bindu received the ‘Farmer Award’ under the SSEPERS ATMA in 2020-21. She was also honoured as the best woman farmer during an international Women’s day celebration.


NOTE – This article was originally published in newindianexpress and can be viewed here



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