THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For 15 years the ‘Chaariyottukonam ela’ at Chempazhanthi, near Thiruvananthapuram, sported only coconut palms. What was once farm land got filled as the years passed.
Now, thanks to a joint initiative of the Agriculture Department, the district panchayat and the Sree Narayana Gurukulam, one-and-a-half acres of this ‘ela’ is now a lush paddy field.
On Saturday, the paddy in these fields was harvested in the presence of the secretary of the gurukulam ashramam Swamy Aroopananda. A press note issued here by the Farm Information Bureau said earth movers were used to pluck the coconut trees and scoop out mud from the fields to make them fit for farming. Water necessary for the land was taken from the nearby ‘Chaariyattu’ pond.
Officials of the Agriculture Department pitched in by providing paddy seeds free of cost and other material required for farming at a 50 per cent discount. Officials of the Agriculture Department, residents of the ashramam, district panchayat officials and schoolchildren took part in the harvest ceremony, the press note added.