Organic farming is all the rage these days, in India and across the world. But how often do you come across a police station that has a thriving organic farm within its premises?
Not very often right?
Well, the police officers and staff at the Kurathikad police station near the Mavelikara town in the Alappuzha district of Kerala would beg to differ.
Thanks to an initiative flagged off only 4-5 months ago, there are several rows of banana plants basking in sunlight in a plot adjoining the police station.
The man behind this is Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Abdul Latheef.
Although he hails from a family of farmers, Latheef’s foray into farming was a recent activity.
“My parents were farmers, and we used to grow kappa (tapioca) and kachil (Chinese yam). As my retirement from the force was approaching, I thought of walking the same path my parents once took. It has been little over two years since I started farming and today, I grow vegetables including long yard beans, pavakya (bitter gourd), padavalam (snake gourd), cucumber and chena (elephant foot yam). I also have a robust production of passion fruit,” says the ASI to The Better India.
The opportunity to transform the station premises came knocking last year when the cops of Kurathikad moved to a new building.
Upon noticing that the area had a lot of space that could be put to better use, the Sub Inspector encouraged Latheef to unleash the magic of his green thumb here as well.
“It has been four to five months since I have taken the responsibility of farming in the station precinct and I started out with the banana plant. We are reaping good harvests. I feel more government employees should try pursuing organic farming in their pastime,” says the police officer.
Latheef’s hard work has been successful, and the Vallikunnam Grama Panchayat recognised his dedicated efforts.
They bestowed him with the best farmer award for 2017-18. Additionally, he was also recently felicitated by the Onattukara Farmers Club.
Not stopping at just growing greens, Latheef has also ventured into beekeeping.
After receiving training from ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Alappuzha) in Kayamkulam, he has joined the countless people from across the globe, whose collective efforts are giving hope to the survival of the winged creatures.
Latheef gleefully informs us that his drive for agriculture and the abundant harvest inspired many of his friends to take up organic farming.
Today, they are successful farmers in their own right.
“In addition to the fact that I consume chemical-free organic produce that I’ve grown with my own hands, seeing others take inspiration from my efforts makes me very happy. I have little over a year left to retire, and I plan on pursuing farming for as long as I can,” he concludes.
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(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)