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80 per cent of the farmers in Tamil Nadu are small and marginal farmers holding less than five acres of land.

There are about 15,000 farmers in Tamil Nadu who have brought about 150,000 acres of land under organic cultivation. Their paddy yields (about four tonne an acre) are better than the average(one tonne an acre) and is a pointer to the fact that sustainable agriculture is the only way ahead.

Wherever the Green Revolution made its intense forays, farmers have suffered in the long run. No farmer is happy; most of them are in debt. Between 1997 and 2004, 25,000 farmers in various parts of India have committed suicide.


The System of Rice Intensification :

The System of Rice Intensification (also known as the Madagascar method) is a collection of principles - and not a technique - derived from over three decades of experiments with rice growing farmers by Fr. Henri de Laulani in Madagascar (hence the name). Its key principles (listed below) are easily understood, and appropriately practising them in local environments has been proven to be successful repeatedly.

   Rice seedlings are transplanted early.

   Each seedling is planted individually, and not in bunches with others.

   Seedlings are planted with wide spacing - at least 25 cm apart.

   The crop is grown in moist conditions, but flooding is avoided.

   Weeding is important.

   Organic inputs are preferable to chemical ones.