KOZHIKODE: Forty students of BEM Lower Primary School, Annassery, were rewarded for a patient eight-month-long wait to see their hard toil on soil bear fruit, when a bumper yield of soya bean was harvested on Tuesday yielding 50 kg of the high-protein crop.
The crop, planted in early February, was on Wednesday used by the school to prepare a ‘thoran’ for the mid-day meal, which the 94 students and teachers in the school savoured.
Vegetable and medicinal plant cultivation was started at the school in September 2008, as part of a Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’s ‘Oppam, Oppathinodoppam’ project to create confidence in students who were faring poorly in academics. Around 40 students from classes III and IV began farming activities with help from SSA trainer S. Surendran and the teachers at the school. Besides several varieties of medicinal plants, the vegetables they sowed included okra, ash gourd and bitter gourd. The idea to grow soya bean sprung up at a vegetable and medicinal plant sale and exhibition the students held in February.
The students utilised around 10 cents within and adjoining the school campus to grow the crop. E.K. Subair, a teacher, said the students were very excited and had evinced interest in continuing with farming activities.
“They utilised their lunch break and after school hours to pursue the new-found hobby. They used manure like cow dung and urea,” said Mr. Subair.
School officials said the students and staff received support and motivation from SSA in-charge at Andikode panchayat T.K. Surendran. The school PTA also played its part by collecting money to help the students buy seeds and manure.