Kunnikode: Vettikala gram panchayat has started what could be the solution for drought-related risks to agriculture. With the launch of VAM farming techniques, farmlands in Chennankuzhy, Chakkuvarakkal has marched ahead with a novel technique that adds viruses into the soil along with the seeds.

This technique can keep the soil moist and nutrient rich and help farming in adverse conditions. This technique, being promoted by the Agriculture Department can survive with very limited amount of water and fertilisation and can support a wide variety of crops including tapioca, vegetables, yam and plantain.

A production plant by the name Mrithasanjeevani has been established at Chennankuzhy to promote the production of such viruses and propagate the farming technique. Local production of the virus, a bio- fertiliser, is expected to become cheaper with more production farms coming up locally.

Upto 10 grams of the virus is added to the pit before planting the seed. The viral action keeps the soil moist and promotes root growth ensuring better nutrition. The virus is currently available for Rs 150 in the market and for Rs 60 at the Sadananda Agricultural Centre.

The virus production unit was inaugurated by Mohan Kumar, ward member. Naziya, agriculture officer explained the project. Project in charge officers, Biju P, Baiju Thottassery, Anandu, Haseela and Divya were also present.