From different types of crops to soil types, irrigation methods and farm implements, the Agriculture Museum at the State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) at Anayara here showcases the rich agricultural traditions of the State. It also helps trace the evolution of the sector over the centuries.
Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohanan inaugurated the museum on Tuesday. It offers a throwback to the environment-friendly method of agriculture practised by traditional communities, including tribespeople. It also employs maps, audio-visual presentations, and an information kiosk to educate visitors.
One section of the museum is devoted to an exhibition of tribal agricultural implements including crude spades, spears, and bamboo measures. “These implements were collected mainly from Wayanad and Kuttanad,” says Balachandra Nath, Deputy Director, SAMETI. Different types of yokes and sickles, ploughs, bamboo ladders, baskets of different shapes and sizes, toddy tapping equipment, fish nets, and palm leaf umbrellas have also been displayed.
As many as 25 different varieties of paddy cultivated by farmers in Kerala, some of them rare species used by tribal communities, as well as different spices are among the exhibits.
Audio-visual presentations in English and Malayalam take the visitor through the history of agriculture. A massive sculpture of a man ploughing a field using two bullocks visually dominates the museum hall.
“We have tried to accommodate as many elements as possible to convey the evolution of agriculture,” says Chandran Pillai, former Deputy Director, Archaeology, who was project consultant for the museum. Mr. Nath said the project was designed to be of interest to students, researchers, and the general public.