Puttur: Ten years ago, a humble bus conductor took to farming by giving up his job. He became a laughing stock around and the agri scientists, who visited the land owned by him, certified it as, unfit for cultivation. They came to that conclusion after looking at the rough terrain and the dry conditions prevailing around. They felt the chances of retaining water, the vital source for cultivation as grim in the area.
Undeterred by their opinion, Annu Poojary, the humble ex bus conductor never gave up hope. He looked around his 5.5 acre plot to explore the possibilities of changing the landscape from arid to fertile. His passion would remind the knowledgeable of the legendary Dashrath Manjhi of Gehlaur village in Bihar, who single handedly who with just a chisel and hammer carved a road out of a 25 ft hill.
Annu Poojary, a resident of Sarve village of Puttur, today owns Nisarga Nilaya (Abode of Nature) and has proven everyone wrong by his never-say-die attitude. Don't mind if legendary actor Rajnikanth comes to you as a passing thought with this bus conductor's amazing story!
As a first measure, he stopped the flow of water downhill and diverted the same to re-energise the ground water in his land by digging pits to promote water harvesting. Initially, he did not find success but rays of hope did not disappear. He continued with renewed vigour by planting cashew saplings only to taste success after repeated failed attempts. Today, Annu Poojary is a proud owner of around 150 coconut trees and 100 cashew plants, several areca plants along with 100 odd water harvesting pits to support his farming activities.
Barren land, a decade ago is a gold mine with enormous greenery and fruit bearing trees of all varieties. In the course of his success story, he took to grafting and has developed multiple varieties of mango, cocoa and pepper creepers. One can find one cocoa plant giving two varieties of cocoa yield and the nearby mango tree giving six different varieties of mangoes here.
An expert in cashew farming, Annu Poojary is the resource person under Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), where he provides vital inputs to farmers about cashew cultivation.
Today, he attempts grafting wild plants (called Nanil ) with Chikku plants to get extra yield. In another case, he is trying to graft Rambutan to Narwal plant (wild species). His passion for grafting vegetable varieties has yielded multiple varieties, mainly Brinjal.
Stem /Trunk grafting:
Annu tries to graft the new variety into the auxiliary buds by retaining the life of original stem/trunk. Modern scientists carry out new grafting methods in fully equipped labs whereas Annu Poojary does grafting with ease by adopting simple techniques on his own with limited resources. Agri scientists are taken aback by his farming and grafting techniques. They end up showering praises and accolades on Annu Poojary who has transformed his dry land deemed unsuitable for farming a decade ago into a rich green gold mine harvesting yield at regular intervals.
Annu Poojary is the recipient of few awards for his resolve and hard work, which he richly deserves.
Newskarnataka.com congratulates Annu Poojary for his relentless efforts in converting a micro portion of planet earth..... green, in times of global warming.