Twenty students of M.A. English, St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru along with the faculty members, Dr Zubaida H and Ms Raveena Mascarenhas went on day’s educational tour to Varanashi Farms, Adyanadka, Karnataka; on the eighteenth of June 2022. For about three decades, Varanashi Organizations have been working hard for the promotion of organic and sustainable agriculture. DrVaranashi Krishna Moorthy, Dr. Ashwini Krishna Moorthy and their son Partha Varanashi are actively involved and equally responsible for the development of the Varanashi Concerns. Agricultural practices followed here are enhanced through recycling of agro-wastes, the use of bio-control agents, water harvesting, silviculture, as well as outreach programs and advisory services. TheVaranashi Development and Research Foundation (VDRF), has been recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by Department of Science and Industrial Research since 1998 and received the prestigious “APJ Abdul Kalam Environmental Award” for 2006/07

The students and faculty of the PG Department of English had a hands-on experience at the farm with Partha Varanshi as the facilitator. After a short briefing on the sustainable agricultural practices followed at Varanashi Farms, he gave a guided tour of the multiple cropping system where arecanut, rice, cocoa, coconut, banana, pepper, cashew, vanilla, vegetables etc. are grown; and of the efficient bio-gas unit located near the cattle shed where the spent slurry is distributed in the farm by a pipeline. He also showed how the farm has adopted water harvesting measures by providing catch pits, mini check dams, percolation pits and other eco-friendly measures. The delicious lunch and snacks offered to the visitors were made from the produce grown at the farm.

The visitors were also given a guided tour of the sustainable architectural practices used in building houses at the farm. Resident architects, Kiran, Vanditha, and Rosa gave a detailed explanation of the materials and methods used in the construction and how they are eco-friendly and sustainable when compared to the use of cement and concrete. The tour ended with a glimpse of the work done at the Varanashi Development and Research Foundation where the research technologies developed in are being field-tested at a macro-level before being advocated for wide-scale adoption. The visit was an eye-opener for the students and faculty of the PG Department of English and convinced them of the viability of eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural and architectural practices.