Saturday, March 28, 2015

NEWS : Students Lead the Way in Organic Farming

Published: 27th March 2015 06:02 AM
Last Updated: 27th March 2015 06:02 AM

KOZHIKODE: For the past five years, the  Cheekkonnu UP School has been cultivating vegetables in 15 cents of land on their school campus, so as to provide pesticide-free and nourishing noon meal to the students. After attaining self-sufficiency in vegetable cultivation, the school is now on a mission to promote organic farming among the public.
With the family farming project, ‘Jaivakrishi Oru Grihapadam’ of the agriculture club of the school, as many as 200 students and their family members have started organic farming in their houses.

The students are also engaged in creating awareness on the importance of organic farming by staging a drama titled ‘Kumbaladesham’ in a number of places. The play, directed by Pradeep Memunda, stresses the need to cultivate one’s own food while creating awareness on the health risks of pesticides. The play has already been staged in 10 centres in Naripatta panchayat and all the upper primary schools in Kunnummal block panchayat. “Around 3.5 to 4.5 quintals of cucumber was harvested from the school vegetable garden this year, besides other vegetables like beans, lady’s finger, snake gourd, ridge gourd, ivy gourd etc. We have also offered to buy the vegetables cultivated in the houses of children. A competition for the best home vegetable garden has also been introduced,” says school headmaster Suresh.

The seeds are distributed by the agriculture department and classes on farming are given to  parents and children. A high yield of vegetables, including bitter gourd, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, green chili, etc are grown in the houses of children using bio fertilizers.

“We got a high yield of cucumber with the use of a fertilizer prepared from sardine and jaggery, as instructed by an agricultural officer from Malappuram, who had visited the school. After keeping the mixture of jaggery and small pieces of sardine in a closed container for 21 days, water 10 times the quantity of the mixture is poured into it and the solution is applied to the cucumber plants,“ points out K P Sasidharan, agriculture club coordinator, who has bagged the second best teacher farmer award in the district. The award has been instituted by the agriculture department. 

Goat manure, cow dung, ‘kadalapinnakku’, cow urine, etc. are also used as fertilizers at the school.

“The children are quite interested in farming and they often contribute to the school’s noon meals. Moreover, with their drama providing tips for efficient usage of water and fertilizers, besides creating awareness on the ill-effects of the vegetables in the market, more people are getting interested in organic farming,” he adds.

Usha P, mother of Niya Anil, a class IV student of the school, says that the large-scale vegetable cultivation in her house has been inspired from the classes at the school. “We tried out a variety of vegetables this year. We distributed some vegetables among the neighbours, apart from the school,” she says.


No comments:

Post a Comment