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G. V. Sudarshan of Gobichettipalayam is a farmer innovator cum gaurakshak. His journey is really interesting and it is fascinating to chat up with him, "My company Mivipro Products (Private) Limited was incorporated in the December of 2019 and is a start-up. We are incubated in TNAU (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University). The institution has this venture called TBI (Technology Business Incubator) located within its huge campus. “Well, our focus is to produce and market innovative bio liquids and bio manures for agriculture. I wish to emphasize that our products are nontoxic. Herboliv is my seven in one brand - 1. It repels herbivorous animals and birds from the farmlands 2. Improves crop growth 3. Replaces pesticides 4. Replaces fungicides 5. Improves soil biologically 6. Improves the water retention of soil 7. Improves the taste and shelf life of the end produce” Sudarshan seems to have taken the clue from the forest dwellers and sages who lived in the forests. Ours has been a forest civilization too in the past.
Herboliv has part of the successful trials in places like Rajasthan and Kashmir. It was recently used to put an end to the locust menace and also the blue bull menace (a six feet high antelope known as nilgai) in the north. “Herbivores are attracted towards crops. They have a very high ability to sense and this encourages them to transcend long distances in order to devour the precious crop belonging to the farmer. Our product Herboliv helps in ensuring that the herbivores and locusts stay away from the crops. Additionally it helps in improving the earth worm population and also helps in the increase in the number of honeybees, spider etc., It was used to bring down the problems created by porcupines in the saffron farms of Kashmir. I must say that this product was an outcome of our own experiments in the family owned 'Viswa Organic Farms' located in Kongahalli village (900 MSL) on the Tamilnadu - Karnataka border. Our organic farm is about one kilometre from the foothills. We have guava, mango, silver oak, sandalwood and lots of vegetables growing in our farm. Ragi, the local rain fed crop is also cultivated. The farm has is about 45 acres and has 43 Kongahalli (a native breed belonging to the same territory) cows. The 35 year old farm was founded by my father G. Viswanathan. We faced a lot of issues due to the presence of herbivores from the nearby forest. Therefore it became essential to sort out this problem in a safe manner. Herboliv was developed for protecting our farm from wild animals. Earlier crackers, fire and drums were used. However we felt that it was not right to do all this. We used cow by-products, botanical products, fruit extracts from the farm itself for making this harmless animal repellent. These steps taught us a million lessons. We ensure that we have a good value addition for each and every product in our farm. The cows have helped us really”, smiled the farmer innovator Sudarshan.
The Farm focuses on the local cow. Sudarshan is of the opinion that the local breed is the best suited to flourish. His cows and calves are let to graze every day and the cowherd takes them around regularly. These cows give about 3 litres of A2 milk every day. The pure ghee from the native cow is sold in Bengaluru. The retired cows are retained in the farm itself. Milk from these cows is used for making 'panchagavya' and it is useful for farming. A Go pooja (cow pooja) is done every day in the farm and everyone irrespective of caste participates in this and does the prana pooja too. The Agnihotram (fire worship) is done regularly. Sudarshan has now developed the 'Viswa Pooja Kit' recently. It contains cow’s urine, cow dung patties, cow’s ghee, panchagavya and five varieties of sticks used for homams (fire worship).
Sudarshan enriched the information further, “We are using millet bran for creating the herbal bran meant for cattle. This is given to the cows. The farm has data pertaining to 8 years of study and we are in the ninth year now. The health of the progeny, milking potential, body score improvement, re-productivity improvement is studied and improved upon. The important parameters are looked into. We want a ' happy smiling delivery ' for the cows. The care takers ensure that the placenta is very smoothly ejected after a smooth calving. We do not want the mother to struggle too much. Even the mounting is done naturally while the bulls and cows go for grazing. Our daily reports are studied by veterinarians and we have photo, video documents as well. The farm is a ‘Nandagokulam’ where you can see the bull, the cow and the calf loitering together. Discipline and calmness are maintained in our farm. Therefore the personal life and health of the farm workers have been fine."
Viswa Agro Farms had once exported guava and mango squash. Nowadays the focus is on local area business development. "Our rural vendor model is successful in Gobichettipalayam, Kavindapadi, Erode and Sathyamangalam districts of Tamil Nadu. We try to work with small vendors. The Whatsapp groups created by us help clients know about the arrival of the harvest. This information helps us to book orders. The items are farm sealed before delivery. The job is initiated by the Agri Entrepreneur Service Centre (AECS), which is a part of Myrada Krishi Vigyan Kendra Agri Research Station (Gobi). I am the mentor for the centre and this model was suggested by me. We also undertake the sale of rice in the farmers brand and this rice (Idligundu) variety is residue free. Health is the focus," chuckled the gowpreneur (entrepreneur who has innovated with a focus on the Indian cow) who was recognized with 'Farmer Innovator' award by ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) in 2019.
G. V. Sudarshan is grateful to his father and a few others, "My uncle Dattaraj is my mentor. Dr. Ashok Kumar, G. K. Nataraj, Advocate P. Karupannan, Naidu and Dr. K. S. Sridhar of Gobi have really helped me a lot. They were the pillars who shielded me. It was through Dr. K. S. Sridhar that I met Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswathi and got his blessings. The great Saint called this kind of work a revolution. I had worked in my own pace and the support of elders helped me reap rich dividends. The hard work and the good will built by my father Viswanathan are helping me see success today. His attitude and approach have sustained me and my venture. It is from him that I learned how to create wealth for the farmer with the aid of available resources.”
The agripreneur spoke further, “The locusts finish off the crops and leave the farmers in absolute penury. The hard working farmers do not deserve it. Chemicals are used on these locust infested farms, but they are harmful. Locusts can create five generations in a year. Unfortunately control measures have been hazardous. FAO has stated that these chemicals used on locusts are extremely dangerous. Herboliv, the taste and odour based repellent by Mivipro is a healthy solution. It protects the crop from locust attacks. The hungry locust which is unable to feed on the farm is extinguished. The dead locusts act as a natural fertilizer for the farm as they are rich in Nitrogen (We must understand that the locusts die due to starvation). Otherwise the locust becomes a high protein delicacy for the farmer. It is a win-win situation for the farmer. Herboliv is a safe recourse and it’s the first one of its kind in the world. The TNAU has recommended this product to the State Government through the SWC (Scientific Workers Conference). Kerala has also completed the trials successfully and orders are awaited shortly. We are now trying to scale up the operations in terms of production and sales."
The son of Premalatha and Viswanathan is happily married to Balapriyanka. The Sudarshans are blessed with Aakarsh and Isshanvi. “We are here to give our suggestions too. For example the goshalas and farmsteads can use our Viswa - Value Added Herbal Bran. It helps in keeping even the retired cows healthy and happy.”
The gowrakshak farmer innovator has really taken his task forward and the results will help him to not just become prosperous but to also add to the wealth of the farmers of our country, Bharat.
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