Nammazhvar and the Organic Agriculture
The history of organic farming movement in Tamil Nadu starts with Nammazhvar. Nammazhvar was born in Ilangadu village of Thanjavur District on 10th May 1938. He has got a Doctorate Degree (Honoris causa) from Gandhigram Rural Institute and University, Gandhigram, Dindigul for his meritorious service in promotion of Organic Agriculture.
He has established different organizations for promotion of organic farming in Tamil Nadu. They are delineated as follows
- In 2002, Tamil Ina Vivasayikal Kazhagam
- 2004, Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Movement
- 2006, Tamil Nadu Organic Agriculturists Movement
He has also authored several books in support of promoting organic farming in Tamil Nadu. Few of the book titles authored by him are outlined below for the readers
- Velanmai Thozhila, Kalacharama, Vazhviyala (Agriculture – Is it a Profession or Culture?)
- Iyarkai Velanmai Pannai Anubavangal (The Experiences of Organic Farming)
- Irulil Sila Velichangal (The Light in the Dark)
- Natchu Valayathukkul Namathu Velanmai (The Ill Effects of Inorganic Farming)
- Thalanmai Velanmai (Productive Agriculture)
- Orunginaintha Velanmai (Integrated Agriculture)
- Iyarkai Vivasaya Uthikal (Tips for Successful Organic Agriculture)
- Pesum Pannaigal (Speaking Farms)
- Thai Manne Vanakkam (A Salute to my Earth)
- Valarchi Ukkigal (Growth Regulators)
- Melman Peruvom (The Development of Top Soil)
- Iyarkai Vazhvu (Natural Health)
- Vazha Vazhi – Maanattu Malar (Guidelines for Good Health)
He always said it is of no use trying to teach a farmer. Instead, one should make the farmer understand the issue. Nammazhvar has never stopped learning from them himself and had become a vast repository of farming practices and knowledge that he shared with whoever was interested. Nammazhvar never pushed his ideas down anyone’s throat. Each farm is unique according to the farmers’ understanding and the conditions. Nammazhvar was experimenting with what he learned from the farmers, refined this knowledge and then gave it back to the farmers for adoption.
One of his saying was: “Farming is not a way of producing crops to make money. It is a way of living and a way of living that is possible even in the 21t century”. He trained hundreds of farm youths as trainers and helped many farmers to be a master trainers. In that way Nammazhvar has infused the ideas of organic farming and its benefits to the farmers. All is possible without the Government Support and hence he is known to many and the College of Agriculture and Technology established by M.I. Ahmed Yasin Educational and Charitable Trust is also one of the devotee of Nammazhvar and hence the name “Nammazhvar College of Agriculture and Technology which is founded in Peraiyur, Kamuthy.