Thrissur farmer succeeds in tapioca cultivation amid lockdown
Elanadu (Thrissur): Amid the triple lockdown crisis, a farmer from the hilly village of Elanadu has scripted a success story by cultivating tapioca. Elanadu Thonnur native Ramkumar chose tapioca when vegetable farmers are in a dilemma due to heavy rain and lockdown.
Ramkumar planted 6-month-old tapioca stems brought from the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute in Thiruvananthapuram in his one-acre land. He also set up solar fencing to stop wild boars from destroying the crop. He got a stunning yield this time.
When many vegetable farmers had to abandon their produce as failed to find sellers, tapioca has huge demand and the crop was not affected too. Ramkumar harvests upto 150 kilograms of tapioca per day. He sells to shops and individual buyers.
Ramkumar sells tapioca for Rs 15 per kilogram for buyers coming to his farm and for Rs 20-25 in shops. He has been cultivating bitter gourd, snake gourd and ivy gourd in the place for over 18 years. But he decided to try a new crop this time and proved successful.
As the Covid situation is prevailing, many Rapid Response Team members also come to buy tapioca, Ramkumar said. He is also former president of the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council of Kerala (VFPCK) in Pazhayannur.