Seeding for a healthy future

May 24, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:33 am IST - CHENNAI:

Farmers displayed up to 800 varieties of paddy.Photo: M. Vedhan

Farmers displayed up to 800 varieties of paddy.Photo: M. Vedhan

It was his urge to give good pesticide-free food and thereby, a healthy life to his young daughter that drove R. Mithunkumar to get into community farming. “I also have a terrace garden. I am right now doing the initial work for my farming and in a year or so, I expect to get it fully running,” he said picking up lots of seeds at the organic food Mela organised on Saturday.

Many like Mr. Mithunkumar picked organic seeds from farmers who had brought in native varieties of brinjal, bitter gourd, cluster beans, snake gourd. The Mela, organised also as part of worldwide march against Monsanto, had farmers displaying seeds of up to 800 varieties of paddy.

G. F. Visvasam from Simcodess, an NGO working with 250 farmers on 488 acres, explained how they were reviving Karunkanni cotton, native to Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest varieties in the State. His stall also had seeds of thambatta avarai whose cluster bean would each grow up to a length of half a foot, aamanaku and different kinds of saamai. The mela also had terrace garden tools and a food section where native foods including uradh dhal kali, modakathaan juice, and varagu sambar saadham were available. Ananthoo of the Safe Food Alliance explained how such melas helped spread the message of organic farming. “We are seeing a lot of terrace garden enthusiasts at the melas. There is exchange of information and ideas here,” he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.