Press "Enter" to skip to content

No more poison: Kerala village farms pesticide-free veggies, distributes them free to people

Community members with the vegetables harvested from the farm at Meppadam, Palakkad, Kerala. Photo: Special Arrangement.

A small village in Palakkad, Kerala, is scripting history by cultivating pesticide-free vegetables and distributing them free of cost to the residents. For the last ten years, over 200 residents of Chulanur village have been putting their best efforts into promoting healthy eating and sustainable agriculture in their village.

What started as an experiment on an acre of land in 2014 has blossomed into a major movement, with several other residents joining to cultivate vegetables for free distribution. The community, under the name “Samridhi Janakeeya,” now grows vegetables on 12.5 acres in Meppadam. Of the 200 members in the community,120 are women, and each member is assigned a task according to a prepared chart for ensuring a smooth flow of work at the farm. The farming is done on land owned by the members of the community.

After each harvest, the vegetables are distributed free of cost to about 300 families in the village and also to people from nearby villages. Apart from pooling in money from their own pockets, the community also sells paddy cultivated in a five-acre paddy field to fund the free vegetable distribution project.

“We are setting an example for other villages to follow. We have been successfully running this project for the past few years. The profit we make from paddy farming is pumped back to grow fresh vegetables for our consumption,” said 29-year-old Arun K Pillai, who is the community’s coordinator.

They grow cucumber, pumpkin, ash gourd, lady’s finger, spinach, beans, and bottle gourds. Last year, they harvested about 22 tons of vegetables, and this year, they hope to harvest even more.

“We wanted to take control of what goes onto our plates. With all the chemicals and toxins used in modern industrial farming, who knows what we’ve been consuming all these years? Our project allows us to grow wholesome, nutrient-rich produce without any of those worries,” said another member of the community. The workload is spread out among all the members, and they reap the rewards of pesticide-free farming.

10 Minimalist Habits for a Stress-Free Life Kerala’s Enchanting Beaches for Destination Weddings Kerala’s Captivating Hill Stations for Your Summer Escapades Conquering Cerebral Palsy: Dr. Nanda’s Journey of Perseverance and Compassion This Kerala youth with rare genetic condition fought body shaming to succeed in life 4.5 acres of barren land into farm: 3 friends’ organic farming venture in Kerala Do not discard used cooking oil: Learn about Kerala RUCO Project At 61, this retired Kerala professor is dancing her way to her dream Muslim percussionist’s Sopana Sangeetham at Kerala temple How 7 Friends in Kerala Built a Dam, Powered a Hospital