'Krishiyarangu’ deliberated on the need to revive traditional farming methods

It was an evening meant for green talk. ‘Krishiyarangu’, organised on the Museum premises on Friday, turned out to be a platform to express concern over the depleting paddy fields, the need to take up farming at our homes, and encourage the younger generation to take up farming.

Success stories, tips to have a vegetable garden at your home and titbits about nutritional value of various vegetables were shared among the small group at the programme organised by Agri Friends Krishi Samskarika Vedi, Department of Museum and Zoos, and Government Employees Welfare Society (GEWS) Kottarakkara.

The get-together was organised as part of the fourth Children’s Agri Science Congress, an initiative of Agri Friends, to be held on January 24 and 25, 2013, in the capital city. “Since the Congress is based on traditional farming practices and science, we brought in agricultural experts and farmers to the event,” said S.Jayakumar, programme coordinator of Agri Friends. Ideas were exchanged and deliberations were held at the programme.

While Kerala State Youth Welfare Board vice chairman P.S. Prasanth expressed concern over the paddy fields being filled up, P.V. Balachandran, Director of Extension, Kerala Agricultural University, spoke about the extent to which pesticides are used in vegetables we get from other states. “Interestingly, the tests which we held showed that pesticides were there in large quantities in curry leaves. It is high time we grow vegetables at home in the space available,” Balachandran said.

R. Ravindran gave a demo-lecture on terrace farming and how to use food waste as manure. Ravindran, who cultivates passion fruit and vegetables at his home at Ulloor, had entered the Limca Book of World Records for cultivating the heaviest African yam.

Kollam Panicker, the champion of organic farming, led a discussion which was attended by farmers from Kuttichal and Kottur and members of Agri Friends.

Ramachandran and Santhosh, who came from Kottur, talked about their agricultural produce to the audience. “We grow plantains, pepper, tapioca, rubber and spices. We often face problems from animals which destroy our cultivation,” said Ramachandran.

An interesting presentation at the programme was a folk song by Santhosh who is an active member of the Uravu Kala Kayika Vedi and Granthashala at his place. “We belong to the Mangode settlement and have got a rich treasure of folk songs . We often come to the city to present our songs,” Santhosh said.

Seedlings of cabbage and cauliflower and leaflets of Farm Information Bureau were distributed at the programme.

Agri Friends, which has been spreading awareness about traditional farming practices, has spearheaded various agrarian activities across the state.