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A Kerala couple’s journey from corporate life to sustainable farming

Pavithra A and Mohammed Rinas. Image Credit: Pavithra A

Pavithra A and her husband Mohammed Rinas, a couple from Kalamassery in Kerala, have traded in their corporate attire for work boots and plowshares. The two left behind their high-paying corporate jobs to embark on an incredible journey into the world of sustainable, chemical-free farming, spearheading a movement to educate and motivate farmers about the importance of traditional farming practices.

Though Pavithra and Mohammed had no prior experience or knowledge of farming, they made the life-changing decision based on their desire to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

“We realized that people have lost interest in farming, which has become more unsustainable with heavy reliance on chemicals and monoculture farming. So we decided to be a part of the solution and show that traditional, chemical-free farming can be both environmentally responsible and economically viable,” said Pavithra, who was working as an HR manager in a corporate firm in Mumbai.

They have not only started their own paddy cultivation on a leased land of 20 acres at Vellangallur panchayat in Thrissur, Kerala but have also formed a collective of 65 to 70 farmers to launch a movement to promote chemical and pesticide-free farming. While living in Mumbai, Pavithra A and her husband, Mohammed Rinas from Kerala, never enjoyed the fast-paced city life. They missed being with nature and having access to clean and healthy food. The couple longed to go back home and were always looking for the right opportunity.

It was after learning about a project run by the Salim Ali Foundation in Kerala on sustainable farming that Pavithra decided to quit her job in Mumbai and move back home in 2016. Soon her husband, Mohammed Rinas, also joined her, leaving behind an engineering job in an oil and gas company in the Middle East.

“Things weren’t easy initially after moving to paddy fields from the comforts of the air-conditioned office. Our mission is to promote clean food, and we feel really happy working on the paddy fields now. We could add more farmers to join our mission for organic farming,” Pavithra told “Open Digest“.

They cultivate only traditional rice varieties like Rakthashali, Kuruva, Thavalakannan, Kunju Kunju red rice, Njavara, Kodukanni, and Pattambi.

What sets the couple apart is their commitment to raising awareness among fellow farmers about the benefits of chemical-free farming practices. “Our aim is not just to transform our own lives but to bring about a revolution in farming practices. We believe that every farmer can make a difference by embracing methods that are kinder to the land and more sustainable for future generations,” she added.

In a world where sustainability is a growing concern, the couple’s life is a beacon of hope, illuminating a path towards a greener and more eco-conscious future for farming.

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