Nattupolima, a traditional farm-industry-health fair, is under wayat Kozhikode Town Hall.

Kanji made of rich brown Mundakan rice, Puzhukku, Chammanthi, a few varieties of pickle, all made of organic ingredients, and served in nature-fresh plates of arecanut spathe. Priced at Rs.30, this nostalgic package of lunch is one of the interesting attractions at Nattupolima, a traditional farm-industry-health fair being organised by the Kerala Jaiva Karshaka Samithi at Town Hall here.

The three-day event, inaugurated by writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair on Friday, includes seminars, health camps, of traditional healers and exhibition-cum-sale of organic products. An exhibition of nature photography, portraying the wild wonders and the wounds inflicted by man upon it is part of the event. Among the items put for sale are saplings and seeds of organic vegetables, handicrafts made of natural objects, organic products made and marketed by different collectives, and books on a variety of subjects including farming, conservation, and traditional healing methods.

A seminar on ‘Kerala and the Western Ghats,’ inaugurated by Gadgil committee member V.S. Vijayan, was an important session after the inaugural ceremony.

For conservation

Dr. Vijayan said that not even a single member of the nine-member Madhav Gadgil Committee was anti-development. “In fact all of us are thoroughly for development. The only difference is that we are for a sustainable development and not for the suicidal development which most of our greedy construction lobbies argue for,” he said. Reiterating that there was not even a single sentence in the entire report of the Gadgil committee against farmers, Dr. Vijayan said it was an ill-informed political leadership and the emotionally charged religious leaders who turned society against the conservational cause of the Western Ghats, which was the life provider of the entire south India.

Dr. Vijayan, who talked at length about the far-reaching consequences of introducing genetically modified (GM) seeds, said no single farmer in the country would be benefited by such a move.

“The authorities are ready with over 70 varieties of GM seeds of different produces, including rice and svegetables. Once the authorities give the nod, they are ready to conquer our fields only to the benefit of multinationals such as Monsanto,” he said.

The fair will conclude on Sunday.

More In: Kozhikode