ALAPPUZHA: When the vagaries of nature are annoying the older generation of farmers, a six-member team of students from Cherthala are bringing some cheer. Their innovative farming model has been selected by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs as one of the 50 finalists of ‘Solved Challenge’, a competition organised in association with the UN Development Programme and the UN Volunteers in India to identify sustainable food production and distribution models.
Growgreen, as the youngsters have named their group, was picked from a list of more than 1,000 collectives across the country. They have been farming in various places in the Cherthala taluk over the past three years after taking land on rent. Their project includes the protection of pokkali farming of Kuttanad (below sea-level) and karinila farming of Purakkad using modern technologies.
“We have undertaken farming on barren land incorporating traditional knowledge. Paddy and vegetables are being cultivated in more than five hectares. We are thrilled that the idea we presented has been selected to the final contest. Innovative ideas developed by young farmers are being enlisted by the government and other agencies for the development of farming in the country,” said S Sivamohan, leader of the collective.‘Solved Challenge’ is organised in five segments and they are participating in the production category, said his colleague K S Amruth.
“The projects were selected under different categories like input, production, processing, marketing and consumption. It aims to select new models to augment the development of agriculture in Asian countries. The selected model will be displayed in various platforms across countries to help farmers,” he said.
Aswin Prasad, Akhil S, Abijith Kumar and Kallayan Shankar are the other members of Growgreen. “We plan to develop farming in more areas in the future,” said Aswin.