Muthuvans take a special route to farmers’ award – The Hindu

A vast expanse of pepper, arecanut, cocoa, rubber, and medicinal plants dots the Kulamankuzhy tribal settlement at the Adimali grama panchayat here, which came second in the category of organic farming among tribal settlements in the State farmer awards announced recently. Along with the organic cultivation of crops, the farmers also undertake dairy and fish farming, and livestock rearing. As many as 300 members of 85 families here depend on farming for their livelihood. They grow vegetables in around 500 acres of land and also produce honey.
They have sent up compost units, rain-harvesting systems, and earth bunds to prevent soil erosion. However, what is unique is a organic fertilizer they make using cow dung and juice from the leaves of wild plants. An official of the Adimali grama panchayat said that compared to other areas, pest attack on crops was limited in Kulamankuzhy settlement. “The farmers follow organic pest control measures. Soil preservation measures make the land fertile and the average production is higher than other areas,” he said.
Grama panchayat president Sherly Mathew, agriculture officer E.K. Shaji and ward member Deepa Rajeev monitor the agriculture practices followed by the Muthuvan community here. Unlike other tribal communities, Muthuvans are basically a farming society. They do not depend much on forest produce though they harvest forest honey.
However, a major problem faced by the community is finding market for their organic produce. They have to sell the produce at a lower rate in the open market. According to the farmers, if the government take steps to market the organic produce, they would get a remunerative price. It will also prompt farmers in other areas to follow their practices, they said.

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Printable version | Mar 20, 2022 11:25:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/muthuvans-take-a-special-route-to-farmers-award/article65243227.ece


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