Farm of Cheruthadam families | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: A group of 15 families in Cheruthadam here have set a model for the world during the COVID times. With the support of Cheruthadam Residential Association, they started cultivation as soon as the lockdown was imposed. They started farming in about 3.5 acres of land which the owners gave without any lease.
The farmers' group gave priority to food crops. They planted 12 varieties of tapioca which can be harvested by next month. Yam, taro, Chinese potato, purple yam, sweet potato, turmeric and vegetables are other major crops in the farm.
They used only ash as fertilizer. The ash was collected from the traditional ovens at residences of 15 families in the group. With this, they did not had to buy any fertilizer from outside. As the group members were jobless during the lockdown, they spent their day time for taking care of the farm.
Earlier, the families had engaged in a collective vegetable farming with the help of municipality. As the venture was successful, they realised the harmony and cooperation among the families.
This confidence inspired them to start dryland paddy farming next year which also was profitable. Gradually, the area of farm and crop diversity also was enhanced. They also offer pesticide-free fresh vegetables for the locality.
Apart from the unity and hard work of the families, the encouragement of landlords also helped the initiative. Kottangal Thankamani, Valsan Kozhikode, Jayaprakash Kozhikode and Ashalatha Vellimadukunnu offered their land for farming without taking any amount in return.