Farm ‘tourist’ from Cambodia

This young man, who loves farming, has crossed the seas to come to the city to listen to Subhash Palekar, the champion

Published: 05th January 2012 12:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:09 PM   |  A+A-


Sindavid near the cows brought for the exhibition as part of the workshop on natural farming which began at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sindavid’s land, Cambodia, has a stark resemblance to Kerala. Thanks to the lush paddy fields and green crops. But Cambodia is yet to grasp the secret of organic farming, which Kerala has lapped up eagerly. Sindavid is here to learn just that.

 The young man, who loves farming, has crossed the seas to come to the city to listen to Subhash Palekar, the champion of zero-budget farming. Palekar has kicked off his five-day workshop on eco-friendly and natural farming methods at the Gandhi Bhavan here and Sind has turned a keen student.

 Back at Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, he runs a shop that sells home decor items. His parents or siblings, who live in that city, are not interested in farming as he is.

Sind lives just outside the city surrounded by farm lands.

 Before he left Cambodia on his first visit to India, Sind promised his farmer-friends that he would have a gift for them on his return. ‘’I said I will learn organic farming and give them the training too. I am here to learn,’’ he smiles.

 While the small audience before Palekar are mostly elderly persons, Sind is the odd one out. And shoots the question as to why the young are not interested in farming here. ‘’In Cambodia, agriculture is growing because the government there has taken to rice export now.

But the use of cows in agriculture has come down. It is getting mechanised. More tractors are put to use. It is not nice,’’ he puts it in small sentences.

 It is through an Indian friend of his that Sind came to know about organic farming and about Palekar. The friend who is into yoga and meditation had invited Sind, who is also a globe-trotter, to try meeting Palekar in Thiruvananthapuram, where he would be coming for the workshop.

 Sind got in touch with Palekar through e-mail and planned his attendance for the workshop, before catching the flight to India two days back.

 Cambodia, which has two rice crops a year, has other secondary crops like maize, corn and sweet potatoes during the rest of the year, Sind says. But the use of chemicals is so high that agriculture is fast falling out with nature, he says.

 His camera, which he carries around, is quite busy capturing the sounds and smells of an agricultural land which he says is blessed with natural farming methods.


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