Moved by the issues faced by his father, a farmer in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh, Gajula Praveen Kumar, student of Agri Business Management at Sri Sri University was inspired to begin research on the sustainable improvement of rice yields.
The paper, on the ‘System of Rice Intensification (SRI)’ will soon be published in the Life Sciences International journal. Boosted by the success of his first project, he then wrote a paper on ‘Waste Water Treatment by Algae at different concentration levels’.
He recently presented both the papers at the International Conference on Recent Trends in Agriculture, Veterinary and Life Sciences and the International Research Symposium on Recent Strategy for Development of Management, Engineering and Information Technology.
“The SRI is a combination of sustainable agricultural practices in nursery management, water and weed management, transplanting, and irrigation facilities in rice cultivation,” says Praveen.
He realized that rice yields through the SRI had doubled, even tripled in some cases. He based his research on case studies conducted in his hometown.
The algae waste water treatment project describes a method of waste water treatment through the cultivation of algae with biomass as the by-product. The by-product has the potential to be exploited for protein complements and food additives for aquaculture,” says Praveen.
“The university has given me a good platform to explore my interests and develop my personality. Through various interactions with industry, local and global farming communities, the university keeps students updated with the latest advances in the agricultural domain.”
This includes, he describes, agri-input information, organic farming, mushroom cultivation, renewable energy usage, sun drying of harvested crop, or efficient usage of farm waste. “The university is also highly student-driven, students are encouraged to take up initiatives to learn, lead and serve in various ways.”
He now plans to continue his research by in organic farming as envisioned by Spiritual Master and founder of The Art of Living and Sri Sri University, with the aim of helping farmers directly sell organic produce in wholesale markets without the interference of middlemen.