Five varieties of vegetables will be cultivated on 100 acres
ALAPPUZHA: The Mararikulam north grama panchayat is back in news. This time by initiating a Seashore Vegetable Cultivation Project. The panchayat along with Kanjikuzhy Panchayat was in news in May when the two villages became the first in the country to declare a benchmark price for vegetables.
Under the project, inaugurated by actor Devan at Mararikulam, 1,100 households in three wards will cultivate five varieties of organic vegetables in 100 acres of land. These households will also be given five sacks each of a mixture of organic manure and sand to encourage cultivation in sacks. The vegetables will include bitter gourd, snake gourd, lady’s finger, cowpea and spinach, and will be funded under the People’s Plan.
The panchayat has already proved that vegetables could be cultivated on seashore when it successfully implemented an organic elephant yam cultivation project.
The Seashore Cultivation Project will be a source of livelihood for the fishing community, at a time when there is a ban on trawling, said grama panchayat president D. Priyesh Kumar. “When they are not out on fishing or when the seasonal changes do not provide them a regular income from fishing, they can become farmers. This means steady income throughout the year,” he said. The project will be implemented under the watchful eyes of Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac.
Actor Devan termed the project another ‘green revolution’, and said the panchayat was a model for the State.
The panchayat is undertaking another project under the Coconut Board. T.S. Viswan, project director for the Coconut Development Board’s Bio-hedging Village Programame said in the six-month-old project, a cluster of farmers have replaced deceased and stunted coconut trees on 25 hectares on the seashore. Four rows of casuarinas were planted to protect the shore from erosion.