The Hindu has covered a success story of natural farming in Karnataka
A banker-turned farmer, Mr Kailash Murthy now has a yield of 3 tonnes of paddy per acre. He doesn't use any fertiliser or pesticide. He hasn't used any external input other than seeds. His neigbours get only 1.18 tonnes per acre, and that too after using chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Read the whole story here:
Zero farming: no investment, yet guarantees good yield
Some FAQs on natural farming
Q: What is natural farming?
Q: Can non-chemical farming give good yields?
A: That non-checmical farming needs less or zero inputs is evident. Supporters of chemical farming methods say that non-checmical farming doesn't give good yields. Some of these myths are debunked here: http://www.satavic.org/mythsandfallacies.htm
Q: Has it worked in India?
A: Yes it has -- although it is true that very few farmers have tried it. Bhaskar Save is understood to be the pioneer of natural farming in India. Read about him here: http://infochangeindia.org/20030205672/Agriculture/Stories-of-change/Nat... Save-ji's farm has a site as well: http://www.savesanghavi.com/
In this context, you might like to read an open letter Save-ji sent to MS Swaminathan, one of the champions of chemical-intensive farming in India: http://www.doccentre.net/Tod/Tod/Open_Letter_to_MSS.php
Another good read would be about Mr Subhash Sharma of Yavatmal, who is another very successful natural farmer. Even when farmers were committing suicide in Maharashtra due to debt caused by poor monetary returns from agriculture, Subhash-ji was profitably farming away in the same area. You can read about him here: http://infochangeindia.org/20070707223/Agriculture/Changemaker/Working-w...
Q: Where can I see pictures of an Indian organic farm?
A: Raju Titus is another very successful organic farmer who lives near Hoshangabad. See his picasa photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/rajuktitus
Q: What are the bad sides of natural farming?
A: Well, it is alarmingly bad for the chemical and pesticide industry. If more farmers start switching to a mode of farming where they don't need to buy seeds or chemicals or pesticides, what will the big biotech corporations like Monsanto do? Natural farming is to chemical industry what open source software is to closed-source giants like Microsoft
Q: How fast can a farmer using chemical methods switch to one without using one?
A: This does take time, 3 years is the estimate I have read in most places. But the ongoing agrarian crises in many parts of the country is going to complete 20 years of its existence pretty soon -- and one of its big reasons is the HUGE input costs of chemical farming.
Q: Who started natural farming?
A: Masanobu Fukuoka started it in the modern world. You can read his celebrated book 'The One Straw Revolution' even if you never ever do any agriculture (an e-book is available here http://vidyaonline.org/arvindgupta/onestraw.zip ) . Otherwise this is a pretty old idea, and even in the Vedic age there was something called 'Rishi Kheti' practised by the sages (who didn't have any money and not much time to spend after growing their food).