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The Kerala village that grooms professional farmers

The vegetables cultivated by local residents kept for sale at the market opened in the premises of Njarackkal Krishi Bhavan. Photo - Special Arrangement

Njarackkal, a small coastal panchayat about 20 kms away from Kochi, has been successfully training people mainly women to become farmers and many are coming forward to learn scientific vegetable farming. In fact, the vegetable farming has become an additional revenue earner for several families after they started selling the produce in the local market.

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Thanks to the initiative of Njarackkal Krishi Bhavan which has been offering free training to the people of the panchayat who have shown keen interest in farming. Though paucity of space was one of the main reasons that prevented many from taking up vegetable farming, the training has helped them cultivate vegetables in a scientific manner within available space, mainly rooftops and backyards of the houses.

“We never expected that the training programme will be successful. Now we are conducting training programme for second batch of 25 people. Many are coming forward for taking up farming. We are conducting the training in coordination with Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA),” said Njarackkal Krishi Bhavan officer Angela Cyriac.

She said the weekly market set up at the Krishi Bhavan for the farmers to sell their produce has become a major hit. “We are getting buyers from different places. Our local farmers are getting additional revenue from the vegetables which they cultivate at small spaces at their homes. Our market has been able to sell vegetables valued at Rs one lakh in the past couple of months with each farmer earning a sum of Rs 5000 per month,” she added.

The training enables the farmer to understand the market and plant a crop accordingly. “The training is for six weeks. The classes are conducted for one day in a week. We provide all support to the people who successfully complete the training,” the officer added.

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