What better way to learn about farming than actually doing it? The book Pallikoodathil ninnum padathekku will tell you how…

Love for farming shows a love for nature. Then what better way to create awareness on nature and environment protection than through farming?

All about farming

If you thought farming and agriculture are boring, think again. It can not only be exciting but also immensely engrossing. Flip through the book Pallikoodathil ninnum padathekku and you will know just why.

Authored by Agriculture Department official and coordinator of the organisation ‘Agri-Friends', S. Jayakumar, it is a book tailor-made by an agriculture enthusiast to attract students to the world of fields and farms. The book, published by Kerala Bhasha Institute, offers learning and teaching techniques, activities and games through which school students can learn to love and practise agriculture.

“While children today are taught about advanced things like learning to use the computer right from their primary classes, our school curriculum does not include meaningful syllabus on farming and agriculture, which is one of the most basic, ancient and noble practices,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

“The main objective of this book is to try to generate interest and curiosity about agriculture among children. I have evolved some on-field learning techniques and games to make learning about agriculture a fun-filled experience. The idea is not to prompt students to take up agriculture as a livelihood, but to instil in them a love for the land and nature,” he said.

Interesting activities

Forming a ‘Krishipaatom club' in schools, frequently updating ‘Krishipaatom bulletin board' in schools with interesting agri-facts, visiting farms, conducting agri-quiz, organising group activities, preparing agriculture magazines, training camps are some of the activities suggested in the book. Farming activities like preparing a vegetable garden in your school and house, trying your hand at paddy cultivation or plantain cultivation, going for season based farming activities etc are also suggested.

“For this the children must be taught how to use farming tools, how to prepare the ground before planting saplings, how to nurture their plants, what amount of water and nutrients are required for each plant etc,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

Organising an agriculture festival with exciting farm based rustic competition for students is another interesting suggestion put forth in the book. Events could include competitions like agriculture proverb, garden designing, letter to the Agriculture Minister, track ploughing, sapling planting, drinking tender coconut water, coconut de-husking, coconut grating, vegetable cutting, vegetable carving, thatching, folk song, festoon making and many more.

Creating posters on various kinds of food plants and agricultural practices followed to cultivate them. Creating small patches of farmland inside your school is another suggestion where students can have practical training on farming.

“Depending upon their natural environ and conditions, schools can take up different kinds of agriculture initiatives like herbal garden, fruit bearing plant garden, apiculture, plantain cultivation, mushroom cultivation and so on. These will help in sustaining the students' interest in these activities. If they have a genuine interest, students can even take up research into agricultural trends and practices of our State,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

The book also illustrates the Krishipaatom activities taken up by Agri Friends in various schools in Thiruvananthapuram.