At an age where most kids would prefer watching television or playing with their friends, one young lad from the village of Pulamanthole in Perinthalmanna, Kerala has chosen to invest his time elsewhere—farming!
A standard 8 student, Abhilal spends most of his free time cultivating alongside his father Sasidharan, who is a farmer by profession.
Sasidharan, who practices organic farming across a three-acre leased-out field in North Paloor, noticed his son’s mushrooming interest when the latter began spending all of his spare time helping his father.
To encourage the young farmer, Sasidharan set aside a 10-cent plot where Abhilal could cultivate long beans.
Such was the magic in the little boy’s hands that he has managed to harvest a whopping 800 kg yield.
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Following his stupendous achievement, Abhilash was bestowed with Akshayasree award of Alappuzha Sarojini Damodaran Foundation, which is in recognition of excellence in farming among children as part of the International Year of Pulses.
Apart from the cash prize of ₹15000, Abhilal was felicitated with a citation and a plaque as well, reports Mathrubhumi, a local daily.
The 6-member family sources its livelihood through agriculture alone. Apart from paddy, Sasidharan grows okra, spinach, sunflower, brinjal, chilli and long beans.
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A student of Pulamanthole Government Higher Secondary School, Abhilal dedicates few hours in morning and evening on the field during regular school days and the entire day during holidays.
Like his father, Abhilal also practices organic farming and uses cow dung, ash and worm compost as fertilisers. For pest control, he uses Panchagavya (an organic mix made of cow excretion), tobacco decoction, sardine-jaggery solution and garlic-chilli pepper mixture.
Apart from harvesting a bountiful, the young farmer also distributes seeds amidst the people. Encouraged by Pulamanthole Agriculture Officer Unnikrishnan and teachers Haridas, Muhammadali and Ajitha, Abhilal now plans on extending his farming skills with Chinese potato (Koorkka) and vegetables in the plot.