Ayyarpardy farm is one of the serious producers among Auroville farms. Located near Irumbai lake, in the international zone of Auroville behind Bharat Nivas, along the road towards Kottakarai, it is one of the prime agricultural lands of Auroville.
Murthy, the steward of the farm is very committed to the production of food to Auroville through organic methods. He also works very closely with other grain farmers in Auroville and is an active participant in the Auroville grain group (a subgroup of the Auroville farm group).
Ayarpadi farm was started in the year 2000 by Murthy. The current stewards include his sons Satyavan and Murugan who are also the managers of the farm. The farm is spread in an area of 23.5 acres under which 6.5 acres fall under irrigation. In the 8 acres of land adjoining the farm, seasonal crops are grown.
Its soil is a mixture of clay and sand and of medium quality in terms of fertility. The main produce of the farm includes grains, oilseeds, vegetables, dairy orchards and horticulture. The farmhouse works on solar energy, has a submersible pump and a sizable irrigation system. With a sizable herd of cows, the farm has been one of the largest grain-producing farms and also one of the main suppliers of milk to Aurovilians. Apart from the steward and his family, there are 6 permanent workers on the farm.
Ayarardi is one of the few farms in Auroville, which has the capacity, infrastructure and experience to produce organic grains and other field crops. Murthy aims to try new varieties of rice and watermelon on his farm, all through organic methods.
The farm works towards providing consistent food supply to Auroville and ensures ecological and financial sustainability in this process.
- Organically grown grains, fruits and vegetables
- Organic dairy products
- Employment opportunities to local villagers.
As the farm focuses mainly on field crops and dairy, Murthy has to rely on local village workers as the primary labour force to run the farm. While this provides employment opportunities to local villagers, Murthy has pressure to make the farm financially sustainable so that he can cover the costs of wages. While Auroville farms receive basic institutional support from Auroville through stewardship of land and maintenance (monthly stipend for managers), the farm has to be financially sustainable through its operations. Securing the crop from pests and other environmental challenges such as adverse weather is the main operational challenge of Ayarapardi. It is also one of the few farms that are semi mechanised.
Murthy started the farm in 2000 single-handedly and now manages the farm with the help of his two sons Satyavan and Murugan. The farm started in the year 2000 on a small scale with a small 300 feet well, solar energy sources like solar pumps and 25 cows as livestock. Murthy used to be a dairy farmer before becoming the farm owner hence he wished to start a dairy on the farm as well as maintain a solar kitchen. Hence he started milk supply and gradually started to grow grains and other field crops. Struggling with a shortage of water supply and less fertile soil, Murthy slowly got more land from Auroville and started with paddy crops around 2010.
Today what makes Ayarpardi special is the diversity of food items that the farm produces. He has built the capacity over the years by working in close collaboration with other grain farmers in Auroville. He has an interest in diversifying the gene pool of seeds as a tool to combat pest infestation and improve yield. Presently the farm has residential buildings, storerooms, greenhouse nurseries, water supply through wells, borewells, irrigation system and machinery and farming equipment.
In the wake of the year 2022, riding over the wave of crisis from Covid is Ayarpardi’s priority. Because the demand for products has gone down during the pandemic, Ayarpardi like other farms had to scale down and disinvest some assets of the farm. He had given away many milking cows because he wasn't able to maintain them in a financially sustainable way. He has also faced financial losses during the pandemic. The situation has made it difficult to get labourers and temporary workers. While volunteers are available in Auroville, they are more interested in vegetables, gardening and less interested in farm-related work. Ayarpardi needs more volunteers, funders and experts from different fields to develop the farm. The mainstream agricultural sector is marked by high yields and low costs in the short run. Competing with the mainstream market prices is challenging for farms like Ayarpardi.
- Donors and Investors to make the farm financially sustainable in the long run.
- Volunteers to help take care and develop the farm
- Agricultural experts who could guide the farm to become higher-yielding and ecologically sustainable in the long run.
For more details, contact the farm using the details below:
- Murthy - 9442162294
- Satyavan - 9843600700
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