PETER MIRANDA, AN AGRICULTURIST FROM BELTHANGADY TALUK BAFFLES EXPERTS AND SCHOLARS WITH HIS SUCCESS
By Raymond D`Cunha, Taccode
Is formal education the only criterion to be successful in your life? A good question to ask ourselves – those who think our degrees and certificates are a proof of our superior thinking power. However, it is not always so. In India, where education is still a dream for many of the rural folk, an enterprising agriculturist from the Belthangady Taluk of South Kanara in Mangalore has had University Professors and Agricultural experts flocking to him to seek his advice and share his expertise in the field of Agriculture.
Peter Miranda, hailing from Moodbidri, has now settled with his family – his wife Olivia and son Sanjay - in the little town of Makki in Naravi Parish of the Belthangady Taluk. Over the last 25 years, Miranda on his 25-acre farm situated on the Phalguni river bank, has cultivated nearly 4000 areca plants, 1000 coconut saplings, spices like cardamom, ayurvedic jaikai (nutmeg), vegetables etc. He has also a variety of pets and animals on the farm – like fish, cattle, pigs and fowls.
Miranda, sharing his knowledge says, “ Growing tender coconuts is very beneficial as it yields quick returns with minimum investment”. He never uses any chemical fertilizers but instead believes in the compost manure which comprises of cowdung, and locally available plant wastage. Chemical fertilizer, he says, kills the living organisms in the soil and this results in low yield. He strongly advises that there should be a cowshed in every farm to collect cowdung which is very useful as compost manure.
He believes that agriculture by itself is not a science – it is the practical knowledge and experience gained that helps in the success of cultivation and plantations. Throughout his 25 years as an agriculturist, Miranda has always been experimenting on different projects and today he has become a master of his profession. It is really overwhelming to see his farm being regularly visited by visitors from all walks of life and all places – far and wide, to see and believe for themselves what they have been hearing about Miranda and his farm.
He is very grateful to his family who stands by him in everything and says without their help his rise to fame would not have been possible.
Miranda is well known for his “Pyramid” experiment whereby he has created a chicken shelter just above a pond. Its waste falls into the pond and serves as an excellent feed for the fish. I is also used as manure for areca plants. Another experiment worth narrating is how he nursed a coconut sapling struck down by lightning, saved the fruits and finally brought the sapling back to life.
The list of awards that Miranda has won is never-ending. In true recognition of his work he deserves them all. He has bagged the Syndicate Bank Agriculturist award, besides being selected by the government to travel 13 times around south India. His name often appears in the local Kannada news papers and he has also been honoured by the Junior Chamber (Jaycees). The Moodbidri Agriculture Centre Award from the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Gramabhivriddhi Yojane has recognized him for his efforts. Every year he conducts exhibitions on agriculture at the Krushi Mela.