Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

2 months

How Seeds from Kerala Are Making the Island Farmers of the Maldives Rich!

How Seeds from Kerala Are Making the Island Farmers of the Maldives Rich!

An initiative propelled by civil engineer, E.C. Manoharan, the varieties of crops cultivated in Maldives have been fetching hefty sums!

If you travel to the Vattaru Island in Maldives, you may be surprised to hear that the seedless watermelon is sold for Rs 120 per kilogram, according to a report by the Deccan Chronicle! This crop, which was originally not a part of the island’s regular produce, has enriched the lives of farmers in the region, thanks to the efforts of a civil engineer from Kerala.

EC Manoharan, who hails from Perinjanam in Kerala, first visited the Maldives in 2011, where he visited for work purposes, and later returned in 2013 to construct a boathouse and terminal in the country.

It was then that he began to notice that the Maldives shared a similar climate to that of Kerala.

Source: Facebook

However, they were importing seeds from Europe for agriculture on the island, a concept which was proving to be unprofitable for the islanders. Manoharan managed to convince the farmers of Vattaru that it would be more profitable to use seeds and planting materials such as organic fertilisers and pesticides from Kerala, a region that was much closer to the island so that the same conditions could be replicated for optimum growth.

He approached the Kerala Agriculture University, for a second opinion. After deliberations with the institution, he selected a few varieties which would be best suited to grow on the island.

You may also like: 5 Farmers Who Prove Smart Agriculture Can Make You Rich

This included bitter gourd, known as Preethi, cucumber, bottle gourd, and the seedless watermelon varieties of Swarna and Shonima. In association with T Pradeep Kumar, a scientist at KAU, he developed the seeds which were then sent to the island.

What followed was a widespread success. The watermelon, which fetches around Rs 900 per fruit is widely sought after in resorts across the country.

In Kerala, where the same seed yields fruits that weigh 3 kilograms on average, yields fruits weighing 8 kilograms, in the Maldives!

Source: Pixnio

According to a report by The Hindu, cow dung and organic pesticides are used as a natural means to grow the crops. Artificial pollination was used, however, as natural agents such as bees and butterflies were not common on the Vattaru Island.

In conversation with The Deccan Chronicle, Manohar says, “The cultivation was in 40 hectares. All these varieties gave good yields. Seedless watermelon fetches Rs 900 per fruit, which is a good bargain for farmers.”

Using native seeds, which are more suited to the climatic conditions of Vattaru Island has ensured that the farmers can reap their benefits, and secure their livelihoods, increasing the stability of their income.

It is also possible that the seedless crop varieties that did so well on the island may be extensively cultivated in the coastal regions in India, as the demand for them continues to rise!

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us:
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image