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How a 16-year-old boy in Kerala is building a thriving vegetable farm

Arjun Ashok at his farm in Muttar, Alappuzha. Image Credit : Special Arrangement

While children his age spend their time watching movies and playing online games, 16-year-old Arjun Ashok of Muttar in Alappuzha, Kerala is building a thriving vegetable farm which has garnered attention not only for its impressive yields but also for its environmentally sustainable practices.

What started as a pastime activity for this tenth standard student of St Xavier’s High School at Mithrakari has now become a revenue generator. He has also received significant recognition, such as the State’s Best School Student Farmer Talent (2022) and the Ujjwala Balya Award (2022) for successfully taking up farming at a young age.
Recognizing his interest in farming, his parents Ashok Kumar and Shobha Ashok fully support him in becoming a professional farmer.

Arjun Ashok

Arjun’s journey began when he felt fascinated by the farming activities of one of his cousins near his home. It was while studying in fifth standard that he first took to the earth by sowing seeds of spinach. His interest in farming grew manifold as the seeds sprouted and became plants under his care. Arjun now cultivates cowpea, spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower on his 20-cent farm, where he also raises poultry, rabbits, and goats. He follows an organic farming method at his farm.

“Farming is very important, and everyone should find time to promote farming and cultivate their own vegetables whenever possible. We only need to spend a few hours a day to grow the vegetables required for us,” Arjun told “Open Digest“.

He added that patience is crucial in farming. “There will be failures when crops get affected by diseases and pests. But through proper care and following the best farming techniques, we can become successful in farming,” he said.

What sets Arjun apart is his ability to seamlessly balance his agricultural endeavors with his commitment to academics. Despite the demanding nature of farming, he maintains an outstanding academic record, consistently earning top grades in school. “It’s all about time management and setting priorities. After coming from school, I set aside two hours for farming. During weekends, I spend more time at the farm,” he added.

Arjun aspires to become an agricultural officer when he grows up and devote his life to developing an eco-system to boost agriculture.

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