Kheti par kiski maar? Jungli janwar, mausam aur sarkar. Throughout the 1980 s, this thought-provoking slogan reverberated with farmers across Uttarakhand in the aftermath of the green rebellion.

Led by the founder of Beej Bachao Andolan( Save Seeds)( BBA ), Vijay Jardhari, the pan-state movement was against monoculture agricultural and emphatic permutation of nutritious production like millets with cash crops.

Vijay, whose house had been raising multiple hodgepodges of pastures for generations, predicted the long term repercussions of monoculture or stretching a single harvest on clay birthrate and subsequently the rise in farmer distress.

While growing up he had seen the state and environmental benefits of growing more than one traditional harvest in the same land. So, when the government was giving soybeans and chemical fertilisers at dirt cheap proportions, it did not go down well with Vijay and he started BBA to keep traditional mixtures.

Most beings from the agricultural field are aware of Vijay’s Dandi march across the state with his friends to collect indigenous seeds( he obtained 350 hodgepodges of grains !).

However, very few know that while smacking on every farmer’s doorstep, Vijay purposed up sharing his acquaintance on an ancient cultivate practise announced’ Baranaj’( Bara is 12 and Anaj implies cultivate ).

Vijay Jardhari reviving Baranaj agriculture process. Source

“It is an inter-cropping method of twelve or more harvests that is usually performed in rain-fed Tehri-Garhwal fields. It yields a farmer a nutritiou land on which lentils, cereals, vegetables, legumes and creepers change in harmony with one another. For example, stems of cereals act as a natural support for creepers of legumes. Once the key to the success of our predecessors, this method was dying in the 80 s. It renders menu defence to the farmer and too raises grunge birthrate, ” Vijay, who is now in his late sixties, tells The Better India.

I spoke at length with Vijay, who was bestowed with Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar in 2009 for his exceptional contribution to saving traditional grain smorgasbords via BBA, to understand baranaj and its benefits.

Baranaj: Process& Specifications

One of the major advantages of this method is that a farmer will never have to worry about disappearing hungry or taking a sizable loan.

“Some of the crops in the cycle are resistant to drought, pests, and overflows so during a natural calamity, even though they are some cultivates are detriment, he will still get enough food to sell in world markets or for self-consumption. Additionally, the baranaj process is similar to that of forest and hence it does not require any chemical inputs or excessive irrigation. They are all rainfed. Maintaining diversity in embeds too boosts grunge birthrate and it affords going food options for farm animals, ” interprets Vijay.

According to him, there is no fixed decoration or combinations that a farmer has to use as long as the pastures are a mix of grains, masala, vegetables and pulsings.

Vijay’s recommendation:

Particle: Mandua( finger millet ), jowar( sorghum ), ramdana( amaranthus ), kuttu/ ogal( buckwheat ), and corn. Pulses/beans: Rajma, lobia, bhat( colors soybean ), naurangi( rice beans ), urad and moong. Vegetables: cholai( Amaranth ), kheera, ogal( neighbourhood assortment) and lobia( black-eyed nuts) Spices: sesame and til( sesame)

Identifying companion seeds that will boost each other’s growth is very important for a farmer.

“Roots of jowar continue the soil and prevent eroding during deluges. Meanwhile, pulsates like lobia or naurangi can provide nitrogen to other veggies like cholai and lettuce as these need a good deal of nutrients. Millets are rainfed pastures it is therefore springs will suck all the excess water and thwart overflows. All these weeds will have different heights so the towering ones can provide shade during extreme hot, ” he asks.

Apart from being safe from extreme climatic conditions and being friends to one another, the crop rotation will also ensure that wild animals and fowls do not destroy the part orbit. For speciman, birds feed on jowar so Vijay stops aside a portion just for them. In return, birds has contributed to maintaining bio-diversity.

Since crops are rotated on an annual basis, insects thrive less on the field and to prevent pest attacks, Vijay indicates use excrement made from cow’s dung and urine. This direction, a farmer will save on external chemical inputs.

Baranaj Could Be Zero Budget

With his budget-friendly tips-off and effective yield rules, Vijay has inspired thousands of farmers to start baranaj in the last 30 times. The majority of farmers from 15 -2 0 villages around his hamlet follow this method.

This is because the investment cost is considerably less in a nature where farmers are at the forgivenes of expensive fertilisers.

“Maybe in the first pirouette, you have to rely on the market for grains but after that, you can save some grains and replant them every year. We still follow the barter system ritual where if one of my grains is not making proper relent, I will exchange it with another farmer in a similar statu. This nature both of us can try brand-new grains and in most cases, the present working. This a great way to save money, ” Dhum Singh Negi, a Senior Chipko leader from Vijay’s village tells The Better India. Negi has been performing baranaj for the last 60 years.

This understanding and harmony is also reflected when it is necessary to labour project. Instead of hiring labour, a group of farmers help each in the sowing process, “Sowing seeds is no less than a fete for us which is something we make dhols and rhythms in the fields and even dance while disseminating. This ritual helps us stay united, ” says Vijay.

Now that a farmer has saved on pesticides, labour and seeds, the inputs expenses are almost zero.

‘We Can Prevent Farmer Suicides’

A farmer’s inability to pay loans read in conjunction with inconsistent climatic conditions often propagandizes him to take extreme measures including suicide. The place is worse for farmers with small landholdings who are unable to produce a higher yield.

Succumbing to the pressure, the farmer culminates up squandering more chemical fertilisers to artificially increase the yield and in turn settlements with the crop caliber and soil fertility to an extent where the ground altogether obstructs the gardening cycle.

To break this vicious cycle, both Vijay and Negi vouch for the baranaj.

“Our ancestral insight has helped us become atmanirbhar( self-reliant) as I no more have to rely on any external inputs. It will be hard for a farmer to switch from monoculture and may even suffer harvest damage in the start. But in the long run, they will benefit. By promoting this method, we can prevent farmer suicides. The best part? A farmer will not be affected by jungli janwar, mausam and sarkar, ” Vijay concludes.

( Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

Read more: