Kerala

Police turn sand dune into a plantain farm

Plantains being harvested at the Kollam Coastal Police station.  

Police officers of Kollam coastal police station have accomplished a ‘fruitful mission’ by converting a barren stretch of sand dune into an orchard.

Dumping of dredged sediment from Ashtamudi estuary has formed extended areas of fallow land in the coast and the expanse is considered unfit for agriculture due to the salinity of the soil. The piece of land near the station had become a dump yard for all types of waste over the years and the efforts to transform it was started nearly eight months back.

“We started plantain farming in the land that hardly had any vegetation. We opted for indigenous varieties like monthan and the farm produced a bumper yield,” said M.C.Prasanthan, Sub–Inspector.

Soil Reclamation Technology was used for conditioning the soil and the land was made cultivable with the help of S.M. Raffi, coastal ecologist and Associate Professor, Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala.

While the dead soil was rejuvenated with organic fertilisers and fish waste along with microbial consortium, the cops ensured proper watering and monitoring. Special care was also given in using organic pesticides and natural fertilisers only and the first batch of banana bunches were harvested on Wednesday by Shinu Thomas, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Karunagapally. According to Mr.Raffi, initiatives of this kind can be replicated in similar denuded coastal areas and fringes across estuaries.

“An integrated eco-friendly initiative of this kind will certainly pave the way to eradicate the coastal pollution to a greater extent, encourage coastal agro farming, and also ensure as an alternative livelihood option for the fishers,”he said.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 6:22:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-turn-sand-dune-into-a-plantain-farm/article37201494.ece

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