banana grove
Representational image.  Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

The 8 ½ acre land abandoned by the tile factory after soil mining, has now become a flourished farm with the efforts of Sasidharan Pillai. Kadali banana, milk, fish, vegetables and everything is available aplenty here.

Kollam Kizhakkekallada Uppood native Sasidharan Pillai took 10 years to turn the muddy land into a fertile farm. He made 7 ponds in the moist areas and grows GIFT tilapia, catfish or kaari, pearlspot or karimeen, pangasius, and freshwater prawn in them. As it is a wetland, edible plankton grow abundantly in the water. Besides, the fish are also provided food waste as feed. The water in the ponds would get mixed with the excreta of fish and become fertile, which will be used later as fertilizer in plant beds.

There is also a dairy farm which has 20 cows. He takes care of the cattle scientifically and with hygiene. He also grows grass in the farm for the cattle. Cow dung and cow urine from the dairy farm is used as fertilizer for plants.

More than 1000 Kadali banana plants are cultivated here in a ratio of three plants in a pit. Banana and vegetable cultivation gives a permanent income whereas fish farming offers a god profit. Milk and fish production are above average. About Rs 11 lakh is earned as net profit a year. Selling farm fresh products is the marketing strategy used by Sasidharan Pillai. Since the products are organic and delicious, they are locally popular.