THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of the organic farming expansion project which the state Agricultural Department had taken up from 2013-14, a group of farmers and organic agriculture enthusiasts has come forward with a big venture in the city. A 50-hectare farm spread out around 10 clusters in Pullambara, Manikkal, Nellanadu, Vamanapuram and Nanniyode is part of the venture brought about as a result of the project. Though the formalities and activities with regard to the farm started during the year 2013-14, the venture has taken on a commercial form only recently.
Says Chandran, president, Vamanapuram Block-level Federation Committee, “As part of the project by the Agricultural Department, around 20 such big initiatives are taking place in the state. There were two such ventures in the capital - one was at Parassala and the other at Vamanapuram. The one at Parassala is now defunct and the one we are maintaining at Vamanapuram block is being managed by 217 farmers.”
Starting with the Onam celebrations last year, the farmers from the cluster have started selling the produce in weekly markets. The Federation has recently distributed to farmers via clusters, hybrid varieties of seeds along with organic pesticides like Pseudomonas, Trichoderma, Verticillium and Acetobacter for the Onam harvest. It has also distributed Rs 60,000 to the 10 clusters for the purpose of making a separate organic garden for each cluster.
Adds Chandran, “People are just starting to know about such a market being conducted by the farmers. But the response is pretty good.” The weekly market is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at MC Road in Keezhayikonam Junction, near Venjarammoodu.