Taluk Office Staff Turn Successful Farmers
By Aswathi Krishna | Published: 18th March 2014 08:22 AM |
Even while they are immersed completely in the world of files from morning till evening, these employees at the taluk office in Vadakara, Kozhikode, find time to do farming in a big way. The collective effort of around 55 employees, including women, has succeeded in setting up a commendable vegetable garden on the taluk office premises.
According to the people behind the farm, this is their way of celebrating their association with the 150-year-old taluk office building. “When we are here, there is the ‘we feeling’ within us. This might be the reason what keeps us united in this farm venture also,” says N P Nandakumar, a senior clerk at the office.
“It is really good to see a wonderful farm in the compound of a government office. The officers’ initiative is more than enough to inspire the hundreds of people who visit the office daily,” says P Usman, a visitor from Azhithala in Vadakara.
Their association with farming is not in giving directives alone. They themselves do the levelling, fill sacks, sow and reap the harvest. “In the initial stage itself we decided not to depend on any farm employee for the work,” says K Ramachandran, a senior clerk at the office.
After visiting a vegetable farm set up by the Vadakara Fire Force Department, it was the then Tahsildar T Jenil Kumar who discussed the idea with the other staff. “Before that we had not even dreamt of such an idea,” admits staff secretary Jubesh.
“We decided to choose zero budget natural farming proposed by Subhash Palekar to get quality output. Hence we shunned the use of fertilisers, excluding cow dung.”
“Palekar is not in favour of using filled sacks to grow plants. Owing to space crunch we have no other option. Though we could not completely execute what Palekar proposed we are not going to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides in the farm land,” he says.
Tomato, ladies finger, beans, pumpkin, ashgourd, spinach, cucumber, snakegourd, chilli and bittergourd are some of the vegetables they grow in their farm.
“Providing whole-hearted support to the green initiative, the Agriculture Department always guides the farm enthusiasts. At a time when even farmers find excuses to bid adieu to farming, their effort is praiseworthy,” says P Dolly, Assistant Director of Agriculture. “If people approach farming with enthusiasm, self-sufficiency in farming can be achieved easily,” she says.
On Sundays, those officials living in the Vadakara town limit come to the office to water plants.
“Since we are government employees, any time we may receive transfer orders. Till the date we move from here we will do our best to maintain the garden,” they say. Their success lies in the maximum utilisation of available space.
Explicating more on future plans, the staff secretary says, “More crops will be introduced in the coming seasons. All the shortcomings that we faced in the initial stage will be corrected,” he says. At present fallow land levelling is in progress on the office premises.