Why this Wayanad farmer came out with a ‘paddy art’ depicting Buddha

Rice paddy art depicting Buddha created by Praseed Kumar Thayyil at Nambikkolly in Wayanad district.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Praseed Kumar Thayyil, a progressive farmer from Wayanad district in Kerala, has showcased his new rice paddy art, an image of Buddha, with varying hues of rice varieties on a huge canvass that is his farm land.

The Japanese art form called Tanbo Art, or Rice Paddy Art, makes use of thousands of rice shoots strategically grown to produce a 3D art form.

Mr. Kumar says he created the work on 30 cents of land of his 2.5 acres of paddy field at Kazhambuvayal near Nambikolly under the Nenmeni Krishi Bhavan in the district to sensitise youths to take up agriculture as profession.

He has also cultivated 52 varieties of rice plants with medicinal properties, collected from various parts of the country, in the remaining area of the land.

For the paddy artwork, he has used four varieties of rice plants such as Nazar Bath, a variety with purple leaves, Rakthasali, Chinnar and Jeerakasala, varieties with dark and light greenish leaves, to create the 3D image.

While Nazar Bath was procured from Maharashtra, the Chinar variety was sourced from Tamil Nadu, Rakthasali from Kollam and Jeerakasaala, an endemic aromatic rice variety, from Wayanad itself.

Mr. Kumar says that the modern generation is gradually detached from agriculture, especially from rice cultivation, perhaps due to the high input and low returns.

Tourism prospects

Farmers in Japan and China began using paddy art to beautify their fields some three decades ago. It attracted tourists and the farmers earned a good income from tourism, besides returns from rice cultivation, he points out.

“Wayanad, a hill station, is emerging as a major tourism destination in the country. If the farmers in the district can attract tourists to their paddy fields, they can also earn a better income,” he says.

He claims that on average, more than 50 visitors, including students, farmers and tourists from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, visit his site every day.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Mr. Kumar is creating artworks on his rice field. He has spent nearly ₹10,000 for the art. S. Prasad, an artist from Sulthan Bathery, drew the outline with the assistance of 15 workers.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 1:24:16 PM |

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