73-year-old Jayachandran’s travels 675 km from his home in Chennai to his farm once every week. He spends four days working there before returning home.He set up Jaycee Agro Farms, with the help of his family, to tackle the issues of chemical-based farming, and bust the myth that organic agriculture is loss-making.His stint in the agro-based industry had helped him interact with thousands of farmers. And belonging to a farmer’s family himself, he was no stranger to the issues that plague Indian agriculture.
He was aware that during the Green Revolution scores of farmers across the country had turned to chemical fertilisers and pesticides to increase production. And while such practices did offer farmers short-term benefits, they rendered acres of land unsuitable for farming due to the effects of the chemicals on soil health.
In an area of 200 acres, Jayachandran’s Demeter-certified (one of the leading organic agriculture certifiers) farm fuses conventional natural farming methods, biodynamic cultivation and new technologies to make farming sustainable and profitable.
The farm is verdant with a green cover of over 51,000 trees, follows multi-cropping over monocropping, has a dairy unit, produces its manure and biopesticides, a food processing unit and even a microbiology lab!
The Government of Tamil Nadu has appointed Jayachandran as the resource person for the training of farmers in organic and biodynamic farming. From NABARD officials to farmers from different parts of India and students, he has been conducting free workshops and training sessions for all in the last two and a half years.