Farmers win national honours for innovation

July 11, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 04:05 am IST - Thrissur

Two ryots from Thrissur bring the Jagjivan Ram Innovative Awards to the State for the first time

Ciby Kallingal (left) andT.V. Rajanarayanan who have won the Jagjivan Ram awards.

Ciby Kallingal (left) andT.V. Rajanarayanan who have won the Jagjivan Ram awards.

Ciby Kallingal of Pananchery and T.V. Rajanarayanan of Thiruvilwamala, farmers from Thrissur district, have won the Jagjivan Ram Innovative Farmer Awards, 2017 instituted by the ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research).

This is for the first time that farmers from Kerala have bagged the prestigious national awards.

While Mr. Kallingal has secured the national award, Mr. Rajanarayanan has won the award for Zone XI, consisting of Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep.

The national award comprises Rs. 1 lakh, an equal amount as travel grant to promote his achievements across the country and a citation. The zonal awardee will get Rs. 50,000, an equal amount of travel grant and a citation. The awards will be distributed during the ICAR foundation day celebrations in New Delhi on July 16. The farmers have been nominated by the Thrissur Krishi Vigyan Kendra ( KVK) under Kerala Agricultural University ( KAU). Mr. Kallingal, who attracted national attention by winning the Plant Genome Saviour award and State award for best farmer sometime back, is a successful exponent of innovative integrated farming.

His 10-hectare farm is a sought-after destination of agricultural students and farmers. The thickly vegetated farm in three tiers – coconut palms in the top canopy, fruit trees and nutmeg in the middle canopy and banana, coffee and medicinal plants in the lower canopy – is complemented by the fauna of birds, poultry, local bred cows, dogs, and even horses.

Mr. Kallingal’s farm has been selected for field training by the KAU and the Department of Agriculture.

It is the venue of frontline demonstration on integrated management of wild boar menace, implemented by the Thrissur KVK.

Mr. Rajanarayanan, a young progressive farmer from Tiruvilwamala, has implemented several innovative techniques such as open precision farming in horticultural crops and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in rice. A member of KVK’s scientific advisory committee, Mr. Rajnarayanan ensures effective crop rotation in his farm by leaving no space uncultivated at any point of time. He is also an exponent of Vrikshayurveda, a formulation which is used for pest management and soil health.

KAU Vice-Chancellor R. Chandrababu congratulated both the farmers.

“This is the first time that farmers from Kerala have won the prestigious Jagjivan Ram Innovative Farmer Awards. Both the national and zonal awards coming to the same State is also unique,” he said.

Mr. Rajnarayanan is the winner of the State young farmer award (2009) and Haritasree award (2017) from the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam.

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