The Neyyattinkara municipality plans to launch a novel project to promote natural farming for the cultivation of organic vegetables.

The project, to be implemented in association with Agriculture Department and NIMS Medicity, is based on the Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) technology propagated by agriculturist Subhash Palekar.

ZBNF is an emerging trend in agriculture that propagates use of natural manure and nutrients for farming instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Unlike organic farming, this method of farming focusses on using things that are naturally available inside or around the farm so that nothing is purchased from outside.

“Most prominently, it focusses on the use of dung and urine of local breeds of cows that are considered to be the best source of nutrients and microbes for cultivation. This method has been successfully tested in Palakkad district and has proven to give high yield in vegetable cultivation,” Neyyattinkara municipality secretary G. Sudhakaran said.

Municipality chairman S.S. Jayakumar said a detailed project report would be submitted to the government soon. “NIMS Medicity has consented to give six acres of land for implementing the project. The idea is to involve Kudumbasree workers for doing the cultivation at the farm. The municipality is also planning to open an outlet at the farm itself for marketing the vegetables. We expect to launch the project within two months,” he said.

Onam festivities

Onam celebrations are being organised in the rural areas of the district on as grand a scale as the urban areas. While ‘pookkalam' contests, fairs, and cultural festivals have been the mainstay of the Onam celebrations in the urban areas, in the suburbs local youth, clubs, and cultural societies are getting together to organise several fun-filled and rustic events such as ‘uriyadi,' tug of war, or ‘kamuku kayattam' that involves climbing an areca nut palm that is smeared with some gooey concoction to make the climb an arduous and often an impossible task.

At Kuttichal, Thachancode, in Neyyattinkara taluk, a local club Akshaya has decided to celebrate Onam in a different manner.

The club has been organising events such as awareness classes on HIV, blood donation, distribution of uniforms to indigent students, and a photography contest and exhibition on rural sights that are fast disappearing from even the villages.

The voluntary blood donation camp organised by the club in association with the Kerala AIDS Control Society last week saw over 60 people come forward to donate blood.

An event has been planned to honour young and enterprising farmers in the area, many of whom have taken up organic farming.

Accident-prone spots

The three accident-prone spots of Mamom, Poovanpara, and Korani near Attingal on National Highway 47 are causing concern to law-enforcing agencies and road users.

Motorists are aggrieved that the authorities have not put in place road-safety measures on the stretch that is part of the proposed Kovalam-Kollam model road.

Over 20 persons are killed and 100 sustain injuries annually in accidents on the stretch that falls in the Attingal police station limits. Sharp curves, design problems at the Korani junction, and speeding result in accidents here.

The narrow approach to the Korani bridge is another problem faced by the motorists. The inability of those coming via the Chirayinkeezhu road to see approaching vehicles at the Korani junction on NH 47 has resulted in many fatal accidents.

The National Highways Authority of India has not taken any step to rectify the mouth of the ‘T' intersection, despite local people taking up the issue at the highest level. Introducing speed barriers on the mouth of the road can slow down vehicles coming from the Chirayinkeezhu road, a local resident says. Appeals to put up signboards and post police personnel to regulate traffic during peak hours remain on paper.

(With inputs from T. Nandakumar, C. Maya and S. Anil Radhakrishnan)