Abhilal in his long bean farm. Photo: Mathrubhumi
Abhilal, a student of 8th standard, finds his pocket money by farming with his father. He is the son of Perinthalmanna Pulamanthol native Sasidharan.
While his friends were playing, Abhilal was busy with farming, which has now derived a good result. The boy has won this year’s Akshayasree award of Alappuzha Sarojini Damodaran Foundation. The recognition was for the excellence in farming among children as part of the International Year of Pulses. The award comprises of a cash prize of Rs 15000 and a citation and a plaque.
Abhilal’s father Sasidharan has only 30 cent of plot, but he has taken 3 acres of land for lease in North Paloor for cultivation. He cultivates paddy in 2 acres and okra, spinach, sunflower, brinjal, chilli and long beans in one acre. He follows the organic method of farming.
Farming is the only livelihood of their 6-member family. Abhilal is a student of Pulamanthol Government Higher Secondary School. He helps his father in the farm in morning and evening during working days and the entire day on holidays. Seeing his interest in farming, his father gave him a 10-cent plot to cultivate long beans.
Abhilal cultivated the vine bean varieties NS320 and NS321, and the bush bean varieties TC15 and PGCP6 in his plot. He used cow dung, ash and worm compost as fertilizers. Panchagavya (a blend of five products obtained from cow), tobacco decoction, sardine-jaggery solution and garlic-chilli pepper mixture were used as pesticides.
Abhilal harvested 800 kilograms of long beans from his 10 cent plot. He also provides seeds for people. Now Abhilal is planning to farm Chinese potato (Koorkka) and vegetables in the plot. The boy was encouraged by the suggestions of Pulamanthol Agriculture Officer Unnikrishnan and support of teachers Haridas, Muhammadali and Ajitha.