Kerala

Grow-it-yourself food at I-farm

An I-farm unit developed by the the Centre for Wildlife Studies of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookode in Wayanad district.  

Overuse of pesticides, additives, and preservatives in food is posing a serious threat to public health these days. The best way to ensure safe food for family is to produce one’s own food, but dearth of space and time prevents most people from venturing into farming.

Now, the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) at Pookode, under the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has come out with an integrated capsular farming concept titled I-farm to address the issues.

The 8x5x6 feet welded mesh fabricated shed of an I-farm unit houses an aquaponics unit, consisting of two aquaria and one tray for growing vegetables. The vegetable plants can be raised by using water from the aquaria that houses fishes.

Efficient method

Aquaponics is an efficient method for cultivating vegetables and fish simultaneously by conserving water. Vegetables can also be grown in PVC channels fixed to both the sides of the unit and grow-bags with standard potting mixture.

The unit also consists of an Aishwarya poultry unit with Athulya strain of poultry, each of which provides more than 300 eggs per year.

A simple compost unit ensures convenient management of poultry manure and kitchen waste, ensuring good quality organic manure for plants.

The roof is made of welded mesh which can be used as a template for growing a green roof of flower, vegetable or fruit bearing climbing plants like passion fruit.

The university aims at making the unit available to all families interested in growing its own food at a reasonable price.

Benefits

It also allows peaceful co-existence of people with wild animals and allows cultivation of crops and production of eggs in human-wildlife conflict areas.

The unit may be installed on the roof of terraced buildings as well as the courtyard or the kitchen garden, CWS sources said. For details, contactchandy@kvasu.ac.in