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July 30, 2023

Inspiration for the day

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SASEENDRAN: NURTURING A MODEL BIODIVERSITY FARM
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Saseendran, Vengappally, Vythiri, Wayanad

When Saseendran purchased seven and a half acres of coffee plantation in Wayanad and removed all coffee plants from it, neighbours thought he had removed reason from his head.  And when he pulled down the  areacanuts and coconuts in the farm and dug ponds in their place, they concluded that he had reached the nadir of his sanity.

But 20 years later, Saseendranís place at Vengappally, Vythiri, Wayanad is a much-sought-after destination of farm tourism and an accepted centre of biodiversity in Kerala. It has a collection of about 2000 varieties of trees, 1600 herbs, 12 ponds, hundreds of birds, indigenous cows etc. 

And moreover, he now earns more than what he would have got had he retained the old coffee plants and coconuts.  This is a reward that nature has gifted to one who has loved her and cared for her.

In his farm there is a small office, which stores the certificates and accolades he has received from various agencies.  Step beyond this house and it is the cool environment of the farm that greets the visitors.  No wonder, the farm seems quite a few of them.  Some, as students and professors of biodiversity.  And some as farm tourists, seeking a place of calmness.

His method is to cultivate maximum varieties of a species.  For example, there are 24 varieties of bamboos in his farm.  No wonder, it has been selected as a learning centre by the Biodiversity Board.

For 5 years from 2001, he was a panchayat member.  During this time, his effort was to collect farmers and train them.  As part of that effort, he visited many farms and learned about farming in detail.  This was the turning point in his life.

He surmised that in the future there will be visitors eager to see farms and the natural biodiversity of Wayanad.  That is why he planted the seeds of farm tourism long before many even dreamt about it.

And his hunch has been proved right.

 

Biju Raghavan (text), Ullerikkaran (photo), Mathrubhumi News,  July 13, 2023 

K


"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."