School Farm Club hopes to bring a change in cultivation.
One reads about the benefits of organic farming, but how many have ever tried to do it? Students at Karayad East A.L.P School, Koyilandy in Kozhikode, Kerala have decided to try their hand at this and are convinced that organic farming and homestead cultivation are the answer to escalating costs and scarcity. The students have been enthusiastic in their involvement with olericulture (vegetable cultivation) and hope to create awareness among the community. These young farmers come under the banner of the School Farm Club and they cultivate a wide variety of vegetables in their school compound.
Their most recent harvest was bountiful and their yield consisted of cucumber, bitter gourd, cabbage, cauliflower, green chilli, amaranth and cow peas. They were surprised to find that cucumber alone mustered a weight of three quintals. The young farmers hope that the next yield will be more bountiful.
The Arikkulam Agriculture Office and the Grama Panchyath support this programme, while the local agriculture department provided good quality seeds and also technical know-how to the club. The occasional visits of the officials inspired and motivated the students to pursue this hobby.
“Our students have proved that even the cool season vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower can be cultivated in our soil,” said the Head Master of the School, K. P. Narayanan. “The school management is also supportive of this initiative by providing farm land and irrigation.”
“It is really a wonderful experience,” said E. M. Sharan, Secretary, Farm Club.
An award winning farmer in Panthalayani block, P.K.Basheer said, “When the children first told us that they had harvested cabbages and cauliflowers we did not believe them. Then, when we saw the vegetables we felt very proud of them. This is a good opportunity to revive age old traditional homestead vegetables and fruits cultivation.”