James was born into a farming family, that can trace back its agri-business history to the beginning of the 20th century when the family was instrumental in the implementation of the Holland Scheme paddy cultivation initiated in Kuttanad. A lawyer by profession, James’ passion was farming, and he would visit his father’s plantations every chance he could get, even while practicing law.
James saw his farming philosophy shifting over the years as he initially experimented with farming techniques propagated under the Green Revolution in India, and then moved on to more sustainable practices following Organic farming techniques. It was much later that James realised the importance for pure natural farming propagated by Padmashri Subash Palekar as Zero Budget Natural Farming.
In practice, pure natural farming entails preparing everything needed for farming within the farm itself, using raw materials that are available in the farm naturally. No chemicals are used at any stage of farming. This leads to a truly natural, low cost, and sustainable method of farming. Microorganisms naturally present in the soil play a large part in making nutrients in the soil available to the plants. The dung of indigenous species of cows is rich in microorganisms and can help to multiply the microorganism population density within the soil. Local earthworms also play a large part in making the soil ideal for cultivation by bringing nutrients from lower levels to the top soil and by enriching the soil with their castings.
Fertilizers used in this method of farming include Jeevamrutha, a fermented fertilizer made from cow dung and a few other ingredients, all of which are available naturally. Fungicide can be made using sour curd and a few other ingredients. These are all harmless to the soil, animals, plants and to humans, leading to a unified healthy and sustainable ecosystem.
James is a recipient of Best Coconut Farmer award in South & West India by central ministry.