Let little organic farms flourish within the confines of Kochi, say farm scientists as health risks of vegetables with pesticide residue have triggered a massive movement towards organic agriculture in the State.
People taking up organic farming in the city do no have previous experience in farming. They are retired hands, homemakers, students, etc., and need guidance and quality inputs, says a scientist attached to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Ernakulam, explaining why KVK recently launched a ‘user’s manual’ on organic farming.
The manual, available on the website, www.kvkernakulam.org.in, is a ready reckoner for anyone wanting to take up organic farming and simply explains the activities from day one to 100.
It can be used to start farming activities even in confined spaces. For instance, if a 100 sq. ft space is available either on the terrace or in a backyard, 100 growbags can be accommodated to grow vegetables like okra, amaranthus, green chilly, paalak, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, curry leaves, brinjal etc., says KVK-trained supplier of growbags and seedlings, Jayan Edavanakkad.
These can be harvested over a period of three months with a family of four being able to source most of their vegetable requirements during the period.
Bushy plants are preferred against climbers in confined spaces though vertical space can also be utilised to grow little gourds and sword beans, said a farm scientist.
Scientists have warned against getting cheap organic inputs as they may either be spurious or of poor quality.
The KVK counter attached to the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute has several organic inputs and seeds in stock.
Preventing pest attacks is the most effective way to fight them. Besides KVK (0484-2277220), the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (0484-2427455) sells growbags and seedlings as well as seeds and inputs at its Business Centre.
The coconut nursery within the Maradu EEC market is another centre where growbags with seedlings are available. Green Remedies, (greenremediesekm@gmail.
com), a group of agricultural officers, attend calls to fight pests.
Agricultural officers attached to each local government body can be contacted for guidance.