At a time when space constraints have become a reason for many to abandon farming, a 66-year-old resident of Thiruvananthapuram city in Kerala is demonstrating that paddy cultivation can thrive even on a rooftop terrace.
R Ravindran, an auto-electrical technician who returned from Middle East ten years ago and settled in his hometown, has never let space limitations deter his passion for farming. He has ingeniously transformed his rooftop terrace into a flourishing paddy field while simultaneously sharing his expertise in organic farming with the local community, emphasising the significance of sustainable agriculture.
Ravindran’s journey into rooftop farming began when he realised that urbanisation was progressively erasing green spaces, making it challenging for city dwellers to reconnect with nature and embrace farming. To address this issue, he decided to utilise his limited rooftop space to cultivate paddy, a crop usually associated with vast rural fields.
“I wanted to do something meaningful that could benefit my community. Urbanisation was taking away our connection to agriculture and the earth, so I decided to take farming to new heights,” Ravindran told “Open Digest.”
Ravindran planted paddy saplings in earthen pots placed on his 500 sqft rooftop terrace and harvested 30 kg of paddy. His success has not only produced a bountiful harvest but also inspired many others to approach him to learn farming. Ravindran also cultivates different types of vegetables in the available space at his house, strictly following pesticide and chemical-free farming methods.
“I provide training to people on organic farming. I am really happy that I could contribute positively to society,” Ravindran said.
Recognising the need for more sustainable food practices, he has been offering free training sessions on organic farming to people. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including composting, crop rotation, and pesticide-free cultivation. “I believe that knowledge should be shared, especially when it can contribute to a healthier environment and food security,” Ravindran added.
Ravindran’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainable agriculture has garnered him recognition from the state government and environmental organisations. He has become a symbol of hope for those who once thought that farming was impossible in an urban setting.