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Retired cop successfully cultivates “Sona Masoori” in Kerala

Eldho Joseph at his paddy field in Muvattupuzha, Kerala.

This 62-year-old retired police officer is re-inventing himself as a farmer and that too by successfully cultivating biryani rice “Sona Masoori”, which is not that prevalent in Kerala, at a paddy field in Muvattupuzha.

Though he has been passionate about farming since his childhood, it was after his retirement from police service in 2017 that Eldho Joseph of Muvattupuzha decided to become a full time farmer.

A few months back, Eldho went to a small village Gangavari near Hampi in Karnataka where he saw local farmers cultivating the variety of biryani rice called Sona Masoori. Out of interest, he spent a few days at the village learning more about the farming practice and decided to give it a try at his paddy field in Muvattupuzha. “I have been cultivating other varieties of rice like Jyothi and Ponmani for the last few years. But when I saw Sona Masoori, I decided to give it a try and bought a sack of seeds from the farmers,” he said.

Eldho said he changed the farming techniques a little bit for Sona Masoori because of the change in temperature in Kerala compared to Karnataka.

“It took over three months for the paddy to become ripe for harvest. We cultivated Sona Masoori only in a small portion of the four-acre paddy field. The trial run has been a success and we are planning to bring more area under Sona Masoori farming in the coming months,” he said adding that the farmers’ group could make a profit of around Rs 60,000 from paddy cultivation at the four-acre paddy field by investing close to Rs 1.5 lakh in three months.

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