Rainwater in the news...

Their sweat turns around barren patch of land

Posted by raindrop on August 8, 2013

Their sweat turns around barren patch of land

Vinobha K T, TNNAug 7, 2013, 12.20AM IST

MANGALORE: An agriculturist couple in the city has proved that even a barren land with laterite stones can be turned into a green paddy field. Their hard work has yielded results within three years and they now produce about 15 quintals of paddy an year and earn at least Rs 12,000 by selling vegetables per month.

Mark Sera and Suguna turned 27 acres of barren land with red stones near their house at Mary Hill in the city through 17 years of hard work and dedication. The couple adopted rainwater harvesting methods to make the land cultivable. Mark, 45, who does not use any chemical pesticides, depends only on organic methods of cultivation.


Concerned about environment, Mark wants to herald the significance of water conservation through rainwater harvesting, percolation pits and water trenches, which he has adopted in his field. Mark told TOI that he could increase water level in his well through percolation pit and other rainwater harvesting methods in his property.

"People do not know the importance of percolation pits, rainwater harvesting and significance of water conservation. Government should make it mandatory that all houses should have rainwater harvesting system," observed Mark, who also grows vegetables, fruits and flowers in his tiny piece of land.

"I started paddy cultivation three years ago. Being a member of a traditional agricultural family from Bantwal taluk, I always stick to traditional methods. I am able to cultivate three crops - enelu, suggi and kolake every year. I get maximum yield in all the three crops since I use high-yielding variety of seeds and organic methods," he said.

"In addition to organic pesticides, I release fingerlings of Guppi fish and frogs to the field so that the crops are generally free from pesticide attack," Mark adds. He calls on educated youth to take up agriculture instead of searching for corporate jobs to earn good income and to preserve the tradition of agriculture.