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NC Patel continues to remain a role model in Horticulture

It was a weekday morning and a good number of vehicles of different types were parked in front of a house in Nagadasanahalli, before Rajanukunte on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Much before noon, many well-to-do farmers or landlords’ were found walking out from the big house enjoying the sumptuous non-vegetarian food, while many others kept on coming. This scene kept on continuing and looked like going for the remaining part of the day. The house in the centre of the attraction belonged to the horticulture pioneer NC Patel.

Professional interaction: Nagadasanahalli C. Patel is a household name to all those in the old Mysuru region who take up horticulture too seriously and professionally. All those who had assembled were found busy interacting with one another on the stages of different crops in their fields, condition of the crop, expected yield, market situation and things like that all revolving around dry land farming. To an onlooker, it looked so interesting that although none of them wore a typical three-piece suit to resemble Marketing professionals, it was no less in typical business (professional) interaction.

Down to earth despite being a multi-billionaire:
NC Patel is a Post Graduate and a law Graduate but never aspired to be either a government employee or a lawyer, although he could have easily become an Assistant Commissioner, to start with, had he just sent an application. To all those curious enough to have an idea about the wealth NC Patel own, here are some indicators: He is a multi-billionaire in terms of real estate considerations but down to earth in his behaviour with fellow agriculturists and horticulturists. He owns more than seventy acres while a 30’x40’ site in the region costs more than 25-30 lakhs!

Horticulturist since the early Sixties:
NC Patel’s entry into horticulture is more than half a century old. His tryst with fruit-bearing plants began in the early sixties of the previous century. In fact, he was inspired by the state-wide motivation campaign carried out by Dr MH Marigowda, revered as the patriarch of horticulture. The passion and commitment of NC Patel, over a period of time elevated him to be among the ‘Trio of Horticulture Achievers’ of the state along with Dr MH Marigowda and B Gopal, state Viticulturist.

A pioneer in the development of vineyard: NC Patel plunged into Viticulture way back in 1960, in an area of 10 acres. Thanks to the incessant advice and guidance of Dr MH Marigowda and B Gopal, he got into grapes cultivation and experimented with the Blue variety of grapes. At that period of time, all other farmers were more into growing Ragi, Tur, Pea, and Leguminous varieties of crops and never ever thought of anything else. Due to such a tendency, growers then were living a pathetic life with meagre earnings to support the family and forget taking care of children’s educational needs. Dr MH Marigowda was always insisting to adapt to horticultural crops instead of agricultural ones, recalls NC Patel. In 1970, he tried Anab-e-Shahi's variety of grapes in a 10-acre plot. It was costing Rs 50,000/- per acre then but was gaining an annual profit of Rs one lakh. He borrowed money to grow grapes and repaid the loan amount after reaping the harvest. Thanks to the able, professional and scientific guidance from the Horticulture Department of the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), there was no looking back to NC Patel.

Grafting Mallika variety of Mangoes:
It was in the 1980s that a lot of curiosity developed about the Mallika variety of mangoes around Bengaluru. NC Patel got the saplings of this hybrid variety known for its unique taste and high-quality fruits from the Horticulture Department of Gandhi Krishi Vigyan Kendra (GKVK) and planted them on his farm. He then got in touch with Horticulturist Dr SV Hittalamani, who guided him on the scientific approach to growing Mangoes, apart from introducing the Incito system. Many farmers were influenced by the modern approach of NC Patel and started fast replicating the new method.

Pruning practice by example: NC Patel also was one of the foremost personalities who introduced the practice of pruning Mango crops. He led from the front to prove the multiple benefits of pruning in the early 1990s. Although enough efforts were made earlier to lay emphasis on pruning, the growers were least interested. However, when NC Patel demonstrated the same with his own experience, thousands of peasants followed suit. If the pruning system of cultivating Mangoes has spread across thousands of hectares in the state, the credit should go to NC Patel.

NC Patel’s contribution to Dryland farming: Dr MH Marigowda is always remembered as a big promoter of dryland horticulture in the state. Likewise, NC Patel, influenced by Dr MH Marigowda, is equally well-known for successfully implementing the idea which was hitherto conceived as a utopian idea. He set out to become a role model by growing Mango, Jamun, and Jackfruit among many others on his farms at Nagadasanahalli near Yelhanka, Ramagiri, Kolur near Doddapura, Bhaktarahalli near Siddlghatta, and in Madhugiri Taluka. It’s a well-known fact that farmers of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru and many other districts are finding a difficult time growing agricultural crops due to the paucity of water. But NC Patel proved them wrong by venturing into dry land horticultural crops and thus became a role model.

A pioneer in drip irrigation: At meagre, rain-fed regions drip irrigation is a big boon to small and medium farmers. Although a few research-oriented organizations were adopting drip irrigation facilities for experimentation purposes, forget introducing the same, farmers didn’t even have access to such equipment. It was in the early Nineties when the then Deputy Prime Minister Devilal was being treated at the Jindal Naturopathy Hospital where he happened to taste the organic Mango fruits grown in NC Patel’s farms. Devilal was so impressed with the Mangoes that he decided to visit NC Patel’s farms before returning to New Delhi. In his sudden visit, Devilal came to know the difficulties of dry land farmers and the significance of drip irrigation. Following the plea of NC Patel, Devilal introduced the measure of providing a 50% per cent subsidy to farmers adopting drip irrigation nationwide. Such was the benefit to farmers all over the country just a casual visit to NC Patel’s farms. The measure came into being from 1992 onwards.

One Butter fruit tree yields fruits worth Rs 50,000/-: NC Patel’s experience with avocado popularly known as Butter fruit is mind-boggling. This fruit has also been considered a fruit of the future, thanks to the multiple health benefits it boasts of. Avacado cultivation is too easy as it doesn’t get infected by pests or diseases. NC Patel is being benefitted by leaps and bounds from Butter fruit cultivation. Not only that, there is one unique tree on his farm which yielded a crop of Rs 50,000/- last year!

Jack fruit all along the border: Jack fruit is perceived as a natural gift to regions with bare minimum rainfall. It has been proved that despite scanty rains, if the soil is good then Jack fruit could be the best bet as has been the experience for hundreds of years. Chandra Halasu variety Jack fruit of Tubugere village near Doddaballapur has made a name for itself over the years. Only one tree gives an annual yield of Rs 50-60k. Influenced by such varieties NC Patel has planted many Jack fruit saplings all along the border of his Nagadasanahalli farm.

Model to Guava growers: Guava happens to be one of the favourite fruits of NC Patel. Of late, Guava has been a sought-after fruit in general and Diabetic patients in particular. Hence, there has been a great demand for Guava fruit and at times Guava suddenly becomes dearer than Apples. NC Patel has been growing several varieties of Guava and supplying it to Bengalureans. He has also introduced innovative methods of Guava farming and thus evolved into a model for all new Guava cultivators.

Introduced Red Globe Variety Grapes: Though there are any number of varieties available in the local market, Red Globe Grapes is the most costly one. Until recently, we were importing them from the United States and Chile. There have been attempts to grow this variety at multiple places in the state for more than one and a half decades. NC Patel initially grew this variety on an experimental basis on one acre. Pradeep (Babu), NC Patel’s younger son has meticulously grown this variety with a scientific approach. This variety fetches double the income in comparison to other regular species. Both, NC Patel and Pradeep (Babu) have not only been successful in growing this variety but have made their plantation a site to visit for aspiring growers.

Motivating spirit to young farmers:
Dr SV Hittalamani, retired Additional Director at the Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka worked for 38 years promoting and propagating Horticulture in Karnataka. Maybe, he retired from government service in 2013, Dr SV Hittalamani continues to be a mentor, actively visiting farms and nurseries to get the best deal from quality crops. Dr SV Hittalamani is full of praise in recalling the accomplishments of NC Patel-“Although NC Patel is a real big farmer in whatever way you look at, he also continues to remain so even in his thoughts and ideology. Every year, he shares his fruits with his hundreds of friends, relatives, officers and neighbours. He believes in giving away and not at the receiving end and wishes all farmers to live that way. He rejects the very idea of only the self-being good and prospering alone. NC Patel is of the firm belief that all farmers should aspire to grow and likewise support the remaining farming fraternity to grow equally. He continues to encourage young farmers in a very big way and remains a motivating spirit to all of them”.

-Manohar Yadavatti


  1. Great personality. Interesting to know about all his knowledge. He will be definitely enlighten many farmers who wish to take horticulture as passionate profession.

  2. Sir, please introduce this gentlemen once i am ready.


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