The age-old farming practices which lifted the spirit of the farmers and offered them fulfilment came alive at Changampuzha Park, Edappally, on Thursday.
In a bid to revive the age-old farming traditions and promote Subash Palekar’s zero budget natural farming, a three-day rice festival has been opened in the park.
“The farmers' sustenance is inevitable for society’s sustenance. This is an initiative to bring the much-needed change in society by reviving traditional natural farming practices, spreading awareness of toxin-free rice by clubbing education, health and agriculture,” said Acharya Vinayakrishnan who is part of the fest.
The festival has been organised by Hilal who has led about 24 traditional farmers and also youth who have left their government and IT jobs to promote natural farming. The rice cultivated in about 64 acres in Palakkad and Thrissur and rice products are on sale.
The ‘gandhakasala’, the basmati variety, costs Rs 280 per kg while the cost of other varieties ranges between Rs 80 to Rs 280. ‘Avalose unda’ packs of five cost Rs 50 and 1 kg jaggery Rs 200.
The price is quite high as the rice and sugarcane cultivated in around 64 acres of land in Palakkad and Thrissur districts are cultivated using natural farming methods and free from chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
“Only if the prices are fair, will they attract the youth to farming and this has been done with a lot of sincerity, dedication and hard work,” said Hilal. Earlier, the women who work in paddy fields showcased the procedures following harvest such as threshing, winnowing and sorting that are fast vanishing. Plays that impart a lot of knowledge on farming practices will be staged and songs on the subject will also be sung.
The fest will conclude on Saturday.