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This Kuttanad farmer teaches how to love paddy cultivation

Sojan Varghese

Can paddy cultivation be lucrative and make you fall for it? Yes, according to Sojan Varghese, a farmer in Kuttanad in Alappuzha. Sojan of Kavalam is a new-generation farmer who is love with paddy cultivation after he successfully embraced tools and technology in farming to drastically bring down input costs.

From hand-held drum seeders to drones, this 44-year-old farmer has been using different devices to stay afloat as a farmer in Kerala, fighting input costs.

Sojan, who got into farming at the age of 17, says farming, especially paddy cultivation, can become viable only if we adopt small technological advancements and use them wisely. Apart from paddy, Sojan also grows tapioca, coconut, and mangoes. “I have immensely benefited from agricultural technology advancements in farming. The drum seeder for sowing germinated paddy seeds directly in wetland fields and drones for fertilising the fields have made things easy and cost-effective for me,” Sojan told “Open Digest“.

Sojan became a big fan of the drum seeder when he tried it first in 2010 on 2.5 acres of his paddy field. “It took only just 12 kg of seeds to cover an acre of land. Realising its potential, I used it to sow seeds in 12 acres. I am currently cultivating Pournami (MO 23) seeds on my 44-acre land using a drum seeder,” he said. He said the drum seeder has the advantage of producing stronger, healthier seeds without the need for pesticides. To a certain extent, they won’t fall because of the rain or strong winds, and harvesting is also easy.

Sojan is also a strong supporter of drones in applying fertiliser on paddy fields. “Drones are helping us to save a lot of time and labor costs. Also, these days, we have AI-driven drone technology that will help us to identify crops which need care,” he said. Sojan says more farmers should come forward to use the technology in the right manner to make farming more profitable. “Sowing paddy using a drum seeder will minimise the cost of labor, time, and water too,” he added.

Sojan Varghese can be contacted at 9747198822.

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