It’s been four months now since COVID has arrived. We wish you all good health. Following is the progress of SRT in the past four months.

To reach farmers and handhold them we have started Virtual Video Conferences/Webinars with the help of Kisan Forum Pune. In the last three months we successfully organised a total 20 Webinars and 2 Facebook live sessions. We got a good number of participation in each webinar. 

All webinars and facebook live sessions we will upload soon on our Youtube channel ( Some of them have already been uploaded. Following are the links :


Without physically reaching the farmer’s fields the technique has provided great results. We were able to motivate more than 350 farmers to actually start SRT in their farms spread over six agro-climatic zones. We think this is the biggest achievement of SRT on the baseline of previous efforts. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Chandrashekhar Bhadsavle

Krishi Ratna & Krishi Bhushan.

Founder and Managing Trustee, 
Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) and Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF)
Saguna Baug, Malegaon, Neral, Karjat, Raigad
Maharashtra 4110101 India

SRT (Saguna Rice Technique)  Definition:      It is a Conservation Agriculture (CA), Zero Till method of farming which does not cause atrocity of tillage, completely stops soil erosion, promotes natural production of earthworms, increases organic carbon of the soil, considerably increases productivity of the land and added effect of amazing success, happiness and confidence to the farmer.


1. Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN) The NGO has carried out an extraordinary task of documentation and compilation of the best practices of sustainable development in the four volumes “The Vision of  Antyodaya”. We are happy to mention that SRT has been selected and documented in volume 2 on pages 270-272. We are grateful to the team ISRN for helping for taking this useful technology to uplift the smallest of the needy farmer to build strong India. Please check out the following link :

2. Attending Global Farmer Network (GFN) at Mexico city during Jan 12 – 18 was very important experience. It was noticed that farmers around the globe have common problems such as lack of dignity for the monotonous hard work, rising age of the farmers, climate change a major concern, governments not very serious to scientifically solve farmers problems, depleting soil organic carbon and soil erosion, and so an. I was able to effectively share our experience of Agro Tourism and No Till SRT Method to bring in sustainability of farming profession which was well received by all participants.

3. I was very lucky to visit Tuskegee University, Alabama, a holy place for all agricultural fraternity. Dr C.S. Prakash a dean at the University kindly organized my visit there. It was heartening to be on the soils which were managed by the great sage Dr. George Washington Carver. It was a amazing experience to take the soil in hand from “The Old Rotation” (120 Years old rotation) and feel the softness and the fragrance of the soil. I got the instantaneous feeling that SRT also is a right path that we are walking on.

4. Wheat after Rice by SRT method, without stubble burning at Ramtek, Nagpur. The farmer Mr Shrinivas Pande has been following SRT without ploughing for past 3 years. He learnt about SRT through YouTube and WhatsApp Video call with our Team. There are at least 12-15 farmers in Pune & Nagpur districts who are practicing SRT for wheat after rice without stubble burning. We are now developing a new method of extension called “Spider Farmer” who is motivated about No Till and who will weave a net of knowledge sharing with fellow farmers.

impact of SRT on green cover during March, increased land utility, increased income and improved livelihood of the farmer. inCollage_20200309_110142442

Chandrashekhar Bhadsavle

Krishi Ratna & Krishi Bhushan.

Founder and Managing Trustee, 
Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) and Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF)
Saguna Baug, Malegaon, Neral, Karjat, Raigad
Maharashtra 4110101 India




Ability of SRT, the zero till regenerative method of farming has been chosen for global leadership development program namely ‘GLOBAL FARMER NETWORK’ (GFN). This is a 7 day round-table conference of 30 farmers from various countries at Mexico city during Jan 12 to Jan 18. Chandrashekhar Bhadsavle will be representing India on this platform making it a best opportunity to taking our regenerative efforts to the global platform.



We must be aware about our team’s efforts to save and conserve hills and mountains from wildfires. During last year our success in preventing forest fires on the three hills exceeded our expectations. Even the survival of about 60,000 bushes we planted, almost 70% survival was noted in the 2nd year.

Last year on hill no 2 the fire broke out on 19 Dec 2019 and this year it was on 6 Jan 2020. Please observe the 1.75 km SVT line of fire control exactly same on both years with amazing precision.

One of the most important observation made last year was the hay grass which was protected by SVT treatment became source of income for local villagers for six months which was sold as feed for cattle and horses. The unburnt area also demonstrated presence of various insects, earthworms and diverse plants as against burnt area.

Due to Zero Till SRT, taking 2nd crop after main rice crop in Kharif season is becoming stress free activity for many farmers now. Farmers from all six agro-climatic zones are able to take more than 20 number of crops ranges from okra (भेंडी), coriander (कोथिंबीर),  shepu (शेपू), Fenugreek (मेथी), brinjal (वांगी), bitter gourd (कारल), dolichus beans (घेवडा), cabbage (कोबी), tomato (टोमॅटो), lablab beans(वाल), mat bean (मटकी ), Peas (वाटाणा), gram (हरभरा), groundnut (भुईमूग), cow pea (चवळी), moong bean (मूग), to maize (मका), water melon (कलिंगड), wheat (गहू), etc.

WhatsApp Image 2020-01-11 at 3.40.29 PM
Mr. Rajesh Wani, Gadchiroli (Maize by SRT)



The modern-day mechanized way of agriculture, essentially is a ‘degenerative method of
agriculture’, and has not only decreased the natural fertility of the soil but has also
exponentially negatively impacted the sustainability quotient of the farmland, depleting the groundwater table and natural aquifers capacity. This is accelerating the impending water scarcity threat and worsening our food security.

The recent incessant rainfall that caused massive flooding in the entire state, affected the livelihood of people the most. Agriculture was hard hit and the Kharif crop is lost for many farmers in the state.

This year, the flooding of farmlands and the aftermath of the situation has led us to record a unique observation. Farmers who adopted the Saguna Rice Technique of zero – till, conservation agricultural method of cultivation, not only witnessed minimum crop damage but also acknowledged the sustainability quotient of the cultivation method. SRT farmers opined that despite massive flooding, the land remained intact with the crop and was not washed away, as it happened with traditional farmers. In many cases, the incessant rainfall led to waterlogging of the farmland denying the farmers the opportunity to plant rice saplings.

Farmlands that employed the SRT cultivation method are not only content with their efforts but are also proving the fact that the SRT technique is both a mitigating tool for global warming as well as an adaptation method that follows a sustainable agricultural methodology. It is thus, the holistic capacity-building tool for today’s’ farmer.                Few comparative pictures – stories proving our point are shown below:                       



Shri. Shekhar Bhadsavle guiding salt-affected coastal farmers at Pen, Raigad.

SRT Sevaks do a personal assessment of the situation that has risen and customized
solutions for the same are provided to boost the confidence and motivate first-time SRT
farmers. This last mile connectivity and provision of expertise not only improve the
relationship between the organization and the farmer but also makes the situation better, reassuring the farmer, ultimately making him a happy and confident, ready for the future.



We define SRT as “a Conservation Agriculture (CA), Zero Till method of farming which is
climate-smart and essentially a regenerative agricultural practice”. In SRT, the atrocity of
tillage on land is not caused, soil erosion is completely restricted, natural production of
earthworms is witnessed, an increase of at least 0.5% organic carbon per year per hectare in the soil is ensured, considerable increase in the fertility and productivity of the land is ensured, and most importantly, adds amazing happiness and confidence in the farmer, making him ready for the future.

This monsoon, the incessant rainfall resulting in massive flooding resulted in thousands of hectares of farmland being washed out. The losses, in economic terms, are uncountable, while the emotional scarring is dreadfully deep.

As mentioned earlier, SRT is a ‘regenerative agricultural method of cultivation’. This
essentially implies that the coping capacity of the farmer to mitigate the disastrous impacts and build back better are exponentially increased. The waterlogging conditions created by heavy flooding (in some cases the waterlogging was more than 6 feet deep in farmlands) were improved within a couple of days and aerobic conditions were regenerated, and soil health is improved exponentially. The aforementioned conclusion was arrived upon by citing earthworm presence and white feeding roots just a couple of days after the disastrous effects subsided.

Observations recorded during field visits to different areas and farmlands have proved that indeed SRT is a regenerative method of cultivation.

WhatsApp Image 2019-08-22 at 3.44.32 PM (1)
Citing earthworms babies in flood-affected paddy fields just a week after floods.


Saguna Vansanvardhan Tantra is nothing but a simple and effective technique to stop
forest fires and to reproduce green perennial vegetation. The works of Team SRF (Saguna Rural Foundation), for the implementation of the Saguna Vansanvardhan Tantra, are being implemented on three hills presently. Plantation of different trees along the demarcated areas for live fencing and live counter is being implemented with roaring success. The numbers speak for themselves. The plants planted have been monitored closely.

The 3 hills that have been taken under consideration need appropriate plantation along the contours of the slopes and their nurturing and growth have to be closely monitored.
Appropriate training and personal assistance are being provided at all required levels.

Meetings conducted at Saguna Baug, Neral under the guidance of Shri. Shekhar Bhadsavle.

The SVT process initiated last year has been remarkably successful. Increased biodiversity, increased infiltration of water, soil regeneration, and most importantly, self-sufficiency leading to resilience to forest fires is vividly observed and recorded.
Following pictures and video links prove that SVT is the most efficient answer for the
rejuvenation of forests and effective water conservation.

Link for the latest observations about enhanced water infiltration and aquifer recharging capacities and a noted increase in biodiversity.

A pictures story of our SVT team’s works on different hills.

Newsletter no 23 : Our progress report of past three months

SJT – Saguna Jalsanvardhan Technique A new technique to revive existing water bodies : 

    Many water bodies have been polluted by biological waste which has caused growth of floating plants such as Water Hyacinth & Pistia. This growth is on hundreds and thousands of hectors of water surface area causing death of that particular water body. These floating plants even though suck away pollutants they also create anaerobic condition and thus help generate obnoxious gases. They considerably slowdown the speed of water flow and also cause death of animals like fish and turtles. They also become heaven for breeding mosquitoes and such other insects.

  One of the small water body at Saguna Baug was also affected by this problem which we could bring back to life by persistent efforts based on our experience of SRT and SVT.

Because of this experience based knowledge we are now invited to revive a historical water body at Aurangabad called “Salim Ali Lake”. This is about 40 acre water body was supposed to be glory of the Aurangabad which is on the verge of death due to water hyacinth.

We used the technical knowledge, wisdom and resilient tough skills of our team to get the breakthrough and develop technique to overcome this problem. We have yet to conclude the project and collect data which will take another 6 months. We will be able to design a replicable process to overcome this problem at other places. A similar situation exist in Pawai Lake – Mumbai, Moola Mutha river – Pune, Ujani Dam – Solapur, Ghosi Khurd Dam – Bhandara and so on.

SRT Ekalavya Farmers – A new model for extension

We found out that there are a very few farmers having great ability to adopt, experiment and carry out extension of the SRT technique on their own. Thus they are contributing nicely for the cause of “More crop per drop of water and human energy”. We have decided to improve their skills by giving further training and also support them financially so that they can perform this noble work more easily.

Yield data of selected farmers in Kharif 2018 

A total of 225 farmers have been interviewed to collect information of yield data of the crop. The information comprises of 40 to 50 parameters. (Please take a look at attached excel sheet).

Yield data of selected farmers in Rabbi 2018-19 

The Rabbi season 2018-19 was successfully undertaken by SRT farmers. The yield data collected was very promising and would provide encouragement for Kharif farmers to undertake second crop. The data shows that the yield has doubled compare to traditional farming and due to which SRT farmer’s income has also increased. Another important point to highlight is that the farmers are undertaking various crops like wheat, cheakpea, Vatana, Gram, Flowers, Onions, Watermelon, Chavli, etc. Below is the table for your reference.

Extension of SRT by “SRT Sevak”

Farmers meets to scale up SRT for the Kharif 2019 season have been undertaken around various regions of Pune and Konkan. These meets have had overwhelming response from the farmers as they have seen their peers successfully harvesting crops with SRT. Based on the response we are confident that the number of SRT farmers for this year should increase considerably.

(Please take the cursor on the pic to see the details)



Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (POCRA) has recognised the importance of SRT and due to which they have invited us to train and demonstrate SRT to farmers and officials in drought prone areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha region.

SRT Carbon farming Project – We have also launched another project called Carbon farming in collaboration with Dr. Emmanuel D’Silva, an agriculture and environment scientist from Mumbai. This is first of its kind in India and has the potential to provide a pathway for farming and carbon incentive. Starting with 20 farmers in two districts of Maharashtra state in India, the carbon farming project will compensate farmers for increases in soil organic carbon. These farmers follow no-till practices in growing rice and other cover crops. Below is the link to an article regarding this project.

SVT Front 

You probably remember that we have started SVT work on 4 hills at Neral in May 2018. There were two main objectives.

a) The hill should not catch fire – This objective however was tried to sabotage by culprits in the society. Yet we have been able to save at least 70% of the hills from burning away so far which was otherwise have burnt 100% in past 10 years.

b) The survival of the plants planted – We have planted Karonda, Wild date palm, Cliff banana, Agave and Khus grass. All these are bushes and shrubs planted with the objective to create congenial environment for planting and survival of bigger trees. As off today our empirical observation is that the survival is more than 50%. More precise information will be available in the 1st week of July.

c) Evaluation of the SVT model – All the details mentioned in the SVT model about measurement and distances, timings of operations etc has worked very well.

d) We will start work on the next of SVT on these hills from the month of May.

SRT (Saguna Rice Technique)  Definition:    It is a Conservation Agriculture (CA), Zero Till method of farming which does not cause atrocity of tillage, completely stops soil erosion, promotes natural production of earthworms, increases organic carbon of the soil, considerably increases productivity of the land and added effect of amazing success, happiness and confidence to the farmer.

Saguna Van-sauvardhan Tantra (SVT) Definition:    It is a simple, low cost and effective technique which stops wildfires by converting the inflammable dry grass into organic manure and fixing of atmospheric carbon, promoting natural production of earthworms and soil aggregation, completely stopping soil erosion, there by initiating water infiltration, thus once again regenerating greenery and biodiversity on degraded lands.

With warm regards,
Krishi Ratna Shekhar Bhadsavle
Founder and Managing Trustee,
Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) and Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF)


         SRT farmers got a competitive advantage going into the rabbi season. As they undertook the next rabbi crop on the same existing raised beds, they were able to save time, labour and cost which enabled them to optimally utilise the residual moisture available in the soil.

           Around 12 farmers undertook onion crop in Pune for the first time during this rabbi season. These plots are now ready for harvest and the experience so far of these farmers have been excellent. As per their observation, the crop has been uniform and the expected yield should be more than the traditional method. Also, they feel that SRT will reduce the loss while uprooting for harvesting. Similarly, for the first time a farmer is cultivating Jowar on SRT raised beds and we are closely following these efforts. Other rabbi crops on SRT includes Wheat, Onion, Wal bean,  cow pea, horse-gram, watermelon, leafy vegies, tomato, brinjal, okra, cabbage, etc.

Below are SRT farmers pictures showcasing their rabbi crops on SRT. The SRT adoption years of these happy farmers vary from few on their 1st year of SRT to some of their 6th year of successful SRT farming.

Please hover the cursor on the farmers pictures for information about the farmer and the crop taken.

  1. Pune Region

2. Satara

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3. Ratnagiri Region

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

4. Raiagd

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5. Thane

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

6. Nashik

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7. Ahmednagar

shri kashinath khole pendshet akole ahmadnagar
Shri Kashinath Khole Pendshet Akole Ahmadnagar

8. Vidarbha

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With warm regards,
Shekhar Bhadsavle
Founder and Managing Trustee,
Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) and Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF)

NEWSLETTER NO. 21 : Forest fire – 2nd acid test of SVT

Dear One,

            Here I am sharing with you another thrilling experience of wildfire on hill number 3 (forest survey number 310 – area 19 ha) within 15 days after the first one. In both cases the fire was ignited by some miscreant person.

                This 2nd incidence of igniting the hill happened on 4th January 2019 at about 10 am in the morning, when Parshuram, Anil and myself (the hardcore team) were far away from the headquarters. Again it was a dry and windy day. Four of our team members (SVT Sevaks) were on their job of routine maintenance and they noticed the smoke from other side of the hill.

The differences in these cases of hill no 3 from the hill no 2 (15 days ago) were as follows:

Hill no 2

Hill no 3

1. About 60% area (100 ha) is private land and only forest area (73 ha) was SVT treated. 1. About 90% area (19 ha) is forest land and was completely SVT treated.
2. Was ignited at only one place in private area which burnt away 100 ha of private land. 2. The attempt of ignition was done at three places within 30 minutes which could burn away only 15% of the biomass.
3. The igniting was done at the bottom of the hill at only one place causing huge destruction. 3. The attempt was done from the top of the hill at 3 places causing very little destruction.
4. The person igniting the fire was not detected. 4. The person igniting the fire was detected but could not be nabbed because the priority was to put off the fire.
5. The fire was successfully put off due to SVT fire line without crossing over to forest area, without any human physical effort. 5. It took 25 men to overcome the fire for about two and half hours.

 This second acid test has helped us draw some more conclusions as follows:

  1. SVT treated fire belts have proved 100% to be fire arresting lines in case of these wildfires. These belts also helped immensely to the fire fighting men at the time of extreme emergency.
  2. The most common observation during forest plantation is that there plantations are destroyed by wildfires 100%. We can now conclude that in such large plantations, if such antifire belts are first created by SVT method before plantation, a great help can be offered for percent survival to these new plants.
  3. It is amazing to notice that the high temperature of flames withered away trees as high as 6 to 8 feet yet didn’t affect the plantation inside the SVT sleeve.

         Immediately on the next day the hardcore team made above observations. We teamed up with the Forest and Police departments and with their co-operation started our attempt to nab the culprit. Today evening we will start showcasing our effort of reviving hills in the villages through Audio Visual meetings with the local folks.

         There was no person who could take photos of the ordeal while it was happening but following photographic data is collected within 24 hours of happening of the scene.

1 sapling in the svt sleeve escaped fire enjury as against the one which was not protected
Sapling in the SVT sleeve escaped fire injury as against the one which was not protected.
2 flames scorched the tree up to 8 feet yet saplings in the svt sleeves were safe
Flames scorched the tree up to 8 feet yet saplings in the SVT sleeves were safe.
3 the fire engulfed the grass on both sides of the plantation line yet the svt sleeves and the plants inside were very safe
The fire engulfed the grass on both sides of the plantation line yet the SVT sleeves and the plants inside were very safe.
4 the fire did not cross the svt fire line
The fire did not cross the SVT fire line.
5 most of the places svt anti fire belt didn't allow fire to cross over
Most of the places SVT anti fire belt didn’t allow fire to cross over.
6 the miracle the vast burnt area didn't burn the svt sleeves and protected the plantation
The Miracle : the vast burnt area didn’t burn the SVT sleeves and protected the plantation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7 interacting with locals to help nab the mindless culprit
Interacting with locals to help nab the mindless culprit.          


Definition of Saguna Van-sauvardhan Tantra (SVT):

It is a simple, low cost and effective technique which stops wildfires by converting the inflammable dry grass into organic manure and fixing of atmospheric carbon, promoting natural production of earthworms and soil aggregation, completely stopping soil erosion, there by initiating water infiltration, thus once again regenerating greenery and biodiversity on degraded lands.

Thank you and warm regards,

Shekhar Bhadsavle

NEWSLETTER NO. 20 : Forest fire

                                                                                                                                     20 Dec 2018

Dear One,

My team and myself we experienced something amazing yesterday afternoon about wildfire on one of the hill under SVT (Saguna Vansaunvardhan Tantra) trial along with forest department.

The hill number 2 (forest survey number 50 A, Neral, Karjat, Raigad) out of four SVT treated hills consists of 73 hectares of forest land and about 100 hectares of private land. Me with the team of SVT and team of forest workers were on our routine work and observation spree yesterday (19 Dec 2018) at about 10 am.

At about 11 o’clock we noticed smoke in one corner of the private part of the hill about 3/4th kilometer away. That being at a windy and dry situation we instantly judged the seriousness of the situation. The fire was growing and the wave was travelling at almost 1 meter per minute speed. Immediately we stopped all our ongoing work and got the team ready on other side of SVT treated fireline with all the team efforts and instructions about safety.

By about 12 noon the wave of fire reached the top with full inertia where we were standing on the other side of SVT fireline. At that most critical moment (for all of us highly experienced with wildfire) we actually felt the blessings of Almighty which I wish to share with you humbly; “the fire wave gave up quietly with full respect to the SVT fireline”. At this point the SVT fireline created by weedicide is 10 meter wide.


The fire continued to engulf rest of the private hill at very high speed till about 3:30 pm afternoon. It finished most of the biomass to zero in a stretch of almost two kilometers; a pretty vast area (100+ hectares). What surprised us the most was at such a hot, dry and windy time of the day there was no known force which could have stopped the might of the fire wave. But instant stopping of the fire wave has actually happened. And during the whole ordeal all the biomass on about 100 hectares of private land has turned into ashes while even 1 square meter of forest land did not burn away which has almost 16 – 17 thousand new plantation.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am very sure that such a miraculous stopping of wildfire in the specific given situation, without any extinguishing efforts has never happened before.  

Please take a look at this link :

Thank you and regards,
Shekhar Bhadsavle
Team leader, SVT team.
And Forest Dept R & D Pune.

Definition of Saguna Van-sauvardhan Tantra (SVT):

It is a simple, low cost and effective technique which stops wildfires by converting the inflammable dry grass into organic manure and fixing of atmospheric carbon, promoting natural production of earthworms and soil aggregation, completely stopping soil erosion, there by initiating water infiltration, thus once again regenerating greenery and biodiversity on degraded lands.

Newsletter no : 18 – A One day workshop on SVT

Saguna Vansauvardhan Tantra (SVT) is defined as, “It is a simple, low cost and effective technique which stops wildfires by converting the inflammable dry grass into organic manure and fixing of atmospheric carbon, promoting natural production of earthworms and soil aggregation, completely stopping soil erosion, there by initiating water infiltration, thus once again regenerating greenery and biodiversity on degraded lands”.

Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF) has undertaken responsibility to work on four hills near Neral to prevent forest fire and start greening of the hills during May 2018 to May 2019. By now almost 60% work is completed and hence a evolutionary one day workshop was invited for the experts and like minded NGOs in the presence of Dr Afroz Ahmad, Member (Environment & Rehabilitation) Narmada Control Authority.

We believe that this is a small beginning of a giant revolution of “Regeneration of degraded hills and mountains”.

Some of the key notes which were discussed and agreed upon by the group were:

  1. Shri Jeet Singh, PCCF (R&D wing), Maharashtra Forest Department, Pune congratulated both the SVT team and Neral Forest Department team for the work done so far and was very happy that the project he helped start has progressed in the right direction. He exhibited deep knowledge of the technique which was evident from the interactive session wherein he was able to provide answers to the queries put forth. We are very proud about our this partnership with the Maharashtra Forest Department.
  2. Some of the important facts which were put forth by Shri Jeet Singh was that around each year 30-40% forest catch fire in India and out of which 99% are man-made. He also confirmed that Maharashtra ranks 5th in India for forest fires. He also stated that Forest Land which the public neglects and treat it as ‘Stepson’, should be treated as their own. There are many initiatives taken by the Forest Department to curb these fires and SVT, he believes, is one of the important technique which will be successful.
  3. Anil Nivalkar presented the SVT model and also the SVT team’s impressive research and work done so far. The most striking fact we were proud to present was our team of 10 SVT Sevaks in two months were able to plant 40,000 plants over 23 kms of difficult terrain and conditions. The ease of the technique was confirmed by Mr. Parshuram Agivale (tribal SRT Farmer and SVT Sevak) who stated that the contour created by Glyphosate helped them to plant with speed (as the work is time sensitive) and efficiently. Similarly, the plants selected for the model were appreciated by everyone, especially the multi beneficial ‘Karvanda’ which according to Mr. Parshuram Agivale, within three years will automatically create the right environment for the forest to grow on these hills.
  4. Glyphosate was also an important topic discussed during the program, as few people had reservation about use of chemicals. Mr. Shekhar Bhadsavle stressed again that this age-old weedicide is one of the safest and widely used chemical in the world. On his farm this weedicide has been used 3 times in a year for more than 12 years without any negative effects. Mr. Navinchandra Borhade (Agriculture Department) also reiterated the same fact but also added Tobacco and Alcohol which are consumed regularly by vast population are confirmed to cause cancer as well numerous other diseases and are not banned. Glyphosate which has not been confirmed by any worldwide scientific bodies to cause cancer and which is used by farmer only 3 times in a year has been target unduly.
  5. Dr Afroz Ahmed, Shri Ajit Narde and Shri Jeet Singh also reminded that Glyphosate once the chemical touches the soil it disintegrates and loses its effectiveness. Similarly, it is a systemic weedicide which affects the enzymes only present in plants and as such have no effect on humans or any other organism. Shri Ajit Narde also confirmed that there are lot of lobbies which are pressurising the government bodies in this whole negative propaganda and the fact that fear can be easily sold to people. However, we as a knowledgeable community should stand up and rise above this negativity and make an informed decision on this issue.
  6. Felicitation of Mr. Parshuram Agivale and his team as well as local forest workers was done for their hard work and determination to complete this very important task within the timeline of the project.
  7. Motivation of various organisation to take up SVT around their respective areas. Mr. Shekhar Gaikwad stated that he had to use grass cutter over 50 hectares of land to avoid forest fire and he believes that SVT model will make his work simpler as well more effective. Present NGOs also stated that they would take up the work in Pune area to prevent forest fires.
  8. Afroz Ahmed (Environmentalist and Member, Narmada Control Authority) stressed on the fact that mountains / hills are cradle of life and we in India are blessed with huge ranges on all sides. Today, these life givers are suffering due to human intervention such as forest fires and they need to be saved for human life to exist. As such, it is important to preserve and protect them and the work done through SVT is the right step towards it.
  9. Afroz Ahmed also stated that there is a need for a separate university for Mountains and Streams so that more research and study can be done. He and Shri Jeet Singh also stressed on the need for the SVT team to document all the data and information which can then be used for validation as well as for future studies.
  10. Good news to come up was Dr. Afroz Ahmad has pledged that he will also recommend to the Maharashtra Forest Department that SVT model to be implemented at Brahmagiri at Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. He also promised to spread SRT and SVT technique to environment department and all around his known circle and wished that SRT and SVT will be implemented to all states of India.
  11. Live demonstration for all the key features of SVT was done on the field visit at hill no. 1 at Neral. The invitees got first hand view of the actual work and they all were very impressed by it.
Sr no Deligates Organisation


Dr Afroz Ahmad Narmada  Control Authority (Environment & Rehabilatation)
2. Shri. Jeet Singh PCCF (R&D), Pune
3. Shri Niranjan Deshpande KISAN, Pune
4. Shri Pralhad Deshpande Rama Purushottam Foundation, Pune
5. Shri Shekhar Gaikwad Aapal Paryavarna Sanstha, Nashik
6. Shri Atul Deshmukh Unik Poly Nashik
7. Shri Rajkumar Korde Excel Industry and VRTI, Roha
8. Dr Sugandha Shettye Somayya Institute
9. Shri Ajit Narde Shetkari Sanghatana, Pune
10. Shri Mahesh Londhe Vanrai, Pune
11. Shri Raghunath Dhole &

Shri Dhananjay Shedbale

Devarai Foundation, Pune
12. Dr Vivek Bhartiya Thakur Institute, Mumbai
13. Shri Santosh Perane Raigad Press club, Neral
14. Miss Rasika Phatak Press reporter, Khopoli-Pali
15. Prof. Manoj Deshmukh Sabusiddik college, Mumbai
16. Shri Navin Borhade Agriculture department, Pune
17. Shri N D Rathod RFO, Forest dept Neral

Photo Gallery

Group photo of visiting delegates on hill no 1
Group photo of visiting delegates on hill no 1

With warm regards,
Shekhar Bhadsavle
Founder and Managing Trustee,
Saguna Rice Technique (SRT) and Saguna Rural Foundation (SRF)

Newsletter No. 15 – Thread of positive farmer stories of Vidarbha

Here is the thread of positive farmer stories of Vidarbha by team SRT.

Mr Prakash Khobragade of Mul, Dist Chandrapur has been the first farmer to have taken cotton by SRT method during Kharif (July 2017-Feb 2018). He is amazed and happy to have adopted this method. According to him the permanent raised beds are helpful in the heavy clay soils; and the cotton crop can thrive very well with this system. He has planted a single row per bed with two feet plant to plant distance. But he thinks three feet plant to plant distance could be better. He is going to leave the roots of the current crop in the soil of the same bed. He is not going to plough the land. He will rotate the crop either with Soya bean or Toor (Pigeon pea). He will use weedicides instead of ploughing or inter cultivation. For the current cotton crop he used less than half the fertilizer than with the conventional method and only two insecticide sprays at the same time visually doubling the crop productivity. His present crop stand is quite healthy & most importantly Prakash is overwhelmed with happiness and confidence in his SRT work.

Mr Dilip Parwate of Nagbheed, Dist Chandrapur has an amazing experience to share about the insect resistance achieved through SRT. The two side by side plots, one cultivated through the traditional puddling method has attracted sever attack of brown plant hopers even after two times spraying of insecticide. At the same time a SRT plot right next to the traditional plot of same variety of rice, has got no sign of any such attack even without use of any insecticide.

Mrs Anita Navghare a women farmer from Aarmori, Dist Gadchiroli says: I visited Saguna Baug in Raigad district and learned the SRT technique. My SRT plot makes me cry with happiness. I become very happy, very happy, very happy!!! whenever I visit the plot. My cost of production was just half of what I am used to. Also previously I used to get 22 bags of paddy from this plot but now I expect at least 35 bags of paddy. With this method I had to use very little outside labour and at the same time all of them were very happy to use this simple new technique. I get many visitors who wish to adopt the SRT technique after seeing the beauty and productivity of my farm.

A farmers meet of 400 plus farmers was organized by Krishi Utpanna Bajar Samiti (A local farmers body), Sadak Arjuni, Dist Gondiya. The local group leader Dr Avinash Kashiwar took the lead after reading about SRT in Maharashtra Sinchan VIkas Magazine. The farmers at the event were extremely enthusiastic due to SRT’s ability to outperform the conventional method especially during shortages of rainfall this year.


Mr. Surendra Madankar of Bhandara was able to demonstrate a startling example planting rice with SRT and traditional method with the same variety, with the same date of sowing of rice & side by side. Take a look at self explanatory photos (of the height & roots system) and the link of the news covered by ABP Maza.

A Noteworthy example of a top dutiful official : When we met this top official for a very short time available to him and explained the SRT efforts with Vidarbha farmers, he not only wrote confidence giving words but also donated 10 SRT frames to Vidarbha farmers from his personal a/c. This generosity towards team SRT and the farmers is worth a million tons.

SRT (Saguna Rice Technique)  Definition:          It is a Conservation Agriculture (CA), Zero Till method of farming which does not cause atrocity of tillage, completely stops soil erosion, promotes natural production of earthworms, increases organic carbon of the soil, considerably increases productivity of the land and added effect of amazing success, happiness and confidence to the farmer.

For more information please visit

With warm regards,

Shekhar Bhadsavle