Students cultivate paddy, vegetables on school premises

They want to learn farming from the soil rather than from books.

Inspired by their success in vegetable cultivation last year, students of the Government Upper Primary School at Poothakkal in the Madikkai grama panchayat limits sowed paddy on the school premises this year. The students and their teachers and parents are now awaiting a rich harvest a few days from now. The takeaway is a valuable lesson on self-reliance in food.

The students, ably assisted by Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme workers and the teachers and the parents, prepared the soil for paddy cultivation. The students and the teachers cleared the weeds and sowed the seeds.

Organic methods

The Krishi Bhavan at Madikkai supplied organic manure and bio-pesticides.

Last season, the school harvested 150 kg of cowpea, 100 kg of okra and 50 kg of snake gourd. 10 TxD coconut saplings have been planted.

Headmaster P. Krishnan and the teachers K. Ramachandran and M. Dineshan supervise the farming. Sajni Mol, Assistant Director, Agriculture, Kanhangad, A. Salauddin, agriculture officer, Madikkai, and other employees of the Krishi Bhavan, assist the school.

Taking into account the success story of the school last year, the Bhavan has provided Rs. 24,500 for irrigation.

The school now plans to utilise the vegetable harvest for the mid-day meal scheme. The institution saved Rs. 12,000 and sold vegetables for Rs. 3,000 last year.

The students from Class III and up tend to the plants during their intervals and after school hours.

The school has bagged the first prize in the district for comprehensive farming and stood third at the State level for devoting dedicated time to fostering farming practice among its students.