KOCHI: The district agricultural seed farm at Neriamangalam shares a similar story of resurgence from the havoc of last year’s flood. With the loss of Rs 4 crore, the 300-acre farm faced a severe situation and limped back to normalcy with sheer resilience.
“The farm had gone through complete refurbishment before the flood. We created a pond on a 50-cent marshy plot and planted around 3,000 banana plants and other vegetables on the farm. The deluge washed away everything and filled the entire area with silt,” said Thomas Samuel, agriculture officer who led the rebuilding activities.
With a five-feet-deep silt deposit on the road, the farm was totally cut off. “It was very difficult to reach the farm in the first place. It took 150 workers two months to rebuild it. Ernakulam district panchayat helped us with sufficient funds and other materials,” he said.
Following the flood, the officials removed the sludge and cleared the bushes in additional 60 acres to restart from scratch.”We tried high-density planting and diverse methods on the farm. The farm now aims to bring up value-added products and establish its brand in the market. “We focus on producing cocoa products, coconut oil and so on. We are also looking at the possibilities of farm tourism with boating facility and a rainbow bridge. By launching trekking, food corners and tree huts, the farm will soon be known as a tourism spot in the district,” said Thomas.
The farm is looking for sufficient support from the state government. “As riverside is getting eroded day by day, we need to build a support wall. We are also aiming to build basic facilities for the staff and public,” he added.