No one gets to beat Chandu in organic farming
Upputhara: Not a son of the soil in the strict sense, but this 26-year-old post graduate from Thrissur has made a mark in the agricultural scene of Idukki. Meet G Sudarshan alias Chandu who came into organic cardamom farming leaving his job at a private bank.
Chandu had joined his friends Tibin and George, both MBA graduates, in farming after leaving his job. Their success was stupendous and soon they were invited by a private school at Idukki to take up organic farming. The trio cultivated for a year there but couldn’t find land to work on after that. Tibin and George decided to leave while Chandu could not bring himself to part with the soil of Idukki.
Chandu soon leased 1.41 acres of land at Upputhara and another four acres at Chekuthan Mala. After a thorough study of the soil structure and texture, Chandu, who had attended Subhash Palekar's classes, went ahead to start his own organic cardamom farm. He soon purchased a cow and started using 'Jeevamrutham' fertiliser made from cow dung and urine. He also uses home -made fertilisers from other organic compounds and abjures from using lime or other chemical compounds.
Eggs and lemon are used to make the plants stronger and a garlic and chilli mixture keeps the pests away. Chandu gets Rs 3,500 for his produce when the normal incomes of other farmers is Rs 1,000 per kg of cardamom. Chandu along with Tibin was the recipient of the Centre's Agriculture Award in 2015. This year's harvest was inaugurated by E S Bijimol MLA on Monday.
Chandu is also the winner of the agriculture award given by the Ayyappankovil panchayat. Panchayat president A L Babu, members Vijayamma Joseph and Saji Varghese and Agriculture Assistant Udayan K V were also present at the inauguration.