Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: C.M. Mohammed and Shakeela Mohammed, a farmer couple from Malappuram, have been selected for the ninth biennial Karshakashree Award instituted by the Malayala Manorama for excellence in the area of agriculture, K.M. Mathew, chief editor, has said.

The award carries a purse of Rs.2 lakh, a medallion and a citation.

Announcing the award here on Thursday, Mr. Mathew said the judging committee was impressed by the achievements made by the couple in maximising income by innovative value-addition methods. Mrs. Mohammad was instrumental in the production of virgin coconut oil from the coconut produced from their farm and also vanilla sherbet. Their achievements in marketing these products were also found replicating, he said. Their 10-acre (4.047 ha) farm with its multi-cropping pattern and their processing of farm produce and value-added marketing of outputs have great relevance in the contemporary agriculture situation where many farmers stumble in the market place. The couple was selected from among 100 applicants and had passed a three-phased screening process.

The final judging committee consisted of M.S. Swaminathan, agriculture scientist; V. Kurien, architect of India’s White Revolution; et al.