KOCHI: His journey of farming started in 8th grade by helping his mother on their own land. Later, Sooraj C S decided to venture completely into farming, an option rarely chosen by his peer group. Today, Sooraj, a 21-year-old from Wayanad is a successful farmer cultivating different varieties of vegetables and fruits.
“Five acres owned by parents and remaining plot we have taken for lease.
We cultivate vegetables, fruits, local varieties of rice and rare plants,” said Sooraj. He said he started farming out of his personal interest, and had consulted some experts and attended classes before beginning the venture. “Initially I did indoor farming and later switched to outdoor. We supply the organic products made from our farm to shops across the state,” he added.
Sooraj noted, his whole family, including parents and younger sister, is interested in farming. “As I am studying in Thrissur, I could come only on weekends. But my family and others take care of the farming during my absence,” he said. He mentioned, he did face inhibitions before starting as he is young. But as days passed on, he got into the skin of it. ‘My passion and continuous efforts helped me a lot. I am happy that I could produce and give a natural and non-pesticide product,” he added.
Sooraj, who has represented the country at Organic World Congress, mentioned the need to bring maximum technology into farming.” Today it is difficult to get sufficient workers. Introducing technology is the only solution and it will also help in increasing the income,” he said. “A rise in the income might also boost the youth to look into farming. It will eventually increase its popularity,” he added.
Sooraj highlighted that, though people prefer organic products, a comparatively higher price is an issue.” Today many are misusing the organic word to sell their non-organic stuff. This has created a dilemma among people whether to opt organic or not,” he said.
He mentioned people can start farming BY themselves or buy from reasonable places. “ With my experience, I can say that there is a huge difference in using the organic and non-organic product, whether it is the taste or nutrient content, “ he said. A recipient of many agriculture and farming awards, Sooraj was also an organic farming ambassador of former state government.”As my course gets completed in a year, I wish to expand my farming and do it on a grand scale,” he said.