Hyderabad: Farmer Chinthala Venkat Reddy is among the Padma Shri awardees from Telangana this year.
Born in a family of farmers in Alwal in the city, Venkat Reddy was passionate about agriculture right from a young age and turned into farming right after completing college education.
After successfully cultivating paddy, wheat, sugarcane, vegetables, maize, bajra, sorghum, pearl millet and other variety of seeds, Reddy became a major contributor to the National Seed Corporation (NSC) and the Andhra Pradesh State Seed Development Corporation (APSSDC) for nearly 10 years.
Reddy, who has a grape farm at Kundanpally in Keesara and an agriculture research farm in Alwal, where he grows black grapes, rice, wheat and vegetables, has many grape growers following his advice for the better management of diseases, pest attacks, soil nutrition, pruning, training of young grape plants, drip irrigation and so on.
He was among the first in the city to combine modern and indigenous practices, which were born from his own ideas and experiences. He introduced drip irrigation, organic practices in grapes, soil and leaf petiole analysis based nutrition, late pruning techniques and weather-based disease and pest management in the production of grapes.
Through his scientific and innovative management of grapes, he achieved a record yield of 105 tonnes/hectare of Anab-E-Shahi seeded grapes and 84 tonnes per hectare Thompson seedless variety grapes in his farm at Kundanpally.
The soil fertility process, which remains his master stroke, developed in 2002 was introduced in grapes in the Kundanpally farm successfully. The next year, he replicated the technology in rice, wheat and black grapes which led to high yields and high nutritive value.
The invention is a novel process for improving soil fertility in cultivated lands (depleted soil) with no inputs of chemical fertilizers leading to high yields with high nutritive value in crops like rice, wheat and grapes.
Reddy has applied for patents in 60 countries for the technology, and has received patents from India, Europe, Eurasia, South Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia , Sri Lanka, Romania and Nigeria to mention a few.
He has won several awards including the State awards in 1999 and 2001, the Uttam Rythu Puraskar in 2006 and so on.