A forum will adopt a village and initiate farming in its 100 households with the help of schoolchildren.

The backyards of 100 houses in Pulicode village here are set for a makeover. Members of ‘Agri Friends Samskarika Vedi' have decided to adopt this village and initiate gardening and farming at homes.

The scheme, ‘Harithamuttam,' will be implemented with the help of 50 National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers from Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Nedumangad. A ‘krishi vedi' will be held on July 23 to discuss the scheme.

The vedi is a non-profit organisation involved in the promotion of farming. Its theme for 2011 is ‘Krishi at home, krishi at school, krishi at nattinpuram (village)'. “Through ‘Harithamuttam' we want to bring about a change in people's attitude towards farming,” says S. Jayakumar of the vedi.

The schoolchildren and members of the vedi will visit more than 100 houses in Vinoba, Thachancode and Malayadi areas under the village panchayat.

Surveys

The students will conduct tests to assess soil quality, earthworm density in soil and collect data on crops cultivated.

The team will study the basic pattern of farming and the involvement of families in the area in it.

Based on the survey, the students will plant seeds and saplings of vegetables in the backyards of select houses. The families will then be encouraged to take forward the practices in earnest. The students will regularly monitor the progress of the scheme. A detailed report of the survey will be submitted to the State Agricultural Ministry.

The vedi also plans to conduct awareness programmes on the need for balanced diet and the advantages of including home-grown, pesticide-free vegetables in daily diet. Health clinics for families will also be held as apart of the scheme.

‘Nattuchandha'

The forum also plans to organise a ‘nattuchandha' (market) in the city in September, with the intention of introducing agricultural products from the villages in towns. As part of this event, kits with home-grown vegetables and other agricultural produce from villages will be given to government offices, civil stations and other institutions as gifts for Onam.

This Onam, the forum will introduce the ‘krishi paadam' scheme — for promoting farming in schools — in 100 new schools. The farm produce from such schools and home-grown produce from the adopted village will also be distributed.