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Kerala farmer develops unique method to cultivate vegetables in watery paddy fields

Sadanandan at his farm in Trikaripur, Kerala

Sadanandan Parengan, 66, of Trikaripur in Kerala is a farmer who has ventured into uncharted territory and successfully developed a unique method to cultivate vegetables in water-filled paddy fields after harvesting paddy. His farming method to make use of paddy fields for vegetable farming, during the gap of three to four months after each paddy harvest, has resulted in a substantial increase in his income.

Sadanadan took up farming at his one acre 68 cents of land 12 years back after returning from the Middle East where he worked for several years. “When I started farming, I realised that traditional farming methods will not yield the desired results. I decided to set out on an unconventional path and improvise on different farming techniques. As paddy fields are filled with water after each harvest, it’s not possible to do vegetable farming. But I improvised and prepared a sand bed in the paddy field at a particular height and planted vegetables like cucumber, ladies finger and snake guard. My experiment began to yield results after putting in countless hours of trial and error,” Sadanandan told “Open Digest”.

Armed only with his practical experience and a passion for farming, Sadanandan developed the farming technique defying the conventions of traditional agricultural practices. He experimented with different crops and used alternative means to grow the plants . “I even planted poles on the paddy fields to grow vegetables,” he said.

Sadanandan now cultivates a diverse array of vegetables so that he could ensure a steady source of income throughout the year. “If we need to become a good farmer, we need to love farming. We should look out for all options on sustainable farming practices,” he said.

His alternative farming technique garnered attention and admiration from neighbouring farmers, researchers, and agricultural experts. Sadanandan’s success story underlines the importance of experimentation and innovation in agriculture. Though he lacked formal training, Sadanandan developed a pioneering farming technique ensuring steady income for him. 

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