Kerala's best vegetable farmer is Pastor Jacob Joseph
Eraviperoor (Pathanamthitta): Pastor Jacob Joseph who lent a helping hand to the poor also dedicated his life for farming. Now he has been selected as the best vegetable farmer in the state. He is the pastor of Gilgal Ashwasa Bhavan in Eraviperoor. He bagged the Harithamithra Award instituted by the state government.
The pastor won the award that comprises Rs 1 lakh, gold medal and a plaque. Pastor has been protecting 350 inmates of the Gilgal Ashwasa Bhavan. With the same passion, he is cultivating vegetables on 25 acres of land. Only 3.5 acres of land is owned by Ashwasa Bhavan and the remaining land is taken for lease.
Snake gourd, ivy gourd, bitter gourd, long beans, spinach, okra, tomato, brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, tapioca, yam, taro and purple yam are the major crops in the farm. Also the pastor rears 14 cows, 30 goats and 100 chicken. The fodder grass for the cows is grown in the farm. Machinery is used for cleaning and cutting the fodder grass.
Hailing from Karikkattoor in Manimala, Pastor Jacob Joseph started Ashwasa Bhavan in Eraviperoor 20 years ago. Since then, farming is a routine for him. He has been active in agriculture for 16 years. Pastor uses only organic fertilizers like cow dung, vermicompost and ash for the plants.
He goes to the farm at 5.30 am every day and works there till 9 am. There are 15 permanent workers in the farm. He had thought of quitting farming as he faced loss in the beginning. But he could not stop it. Now he is able to sell vegetables and tuber crops worth Rs 2 lakh after taking the required items for Ashwasa Bhavan.