A wonder farm in Kerala


“Since 2007, this research station has gone from being a sleepy government facility to an engine of innovative agricultural practices – some local, some with far-reaching implications. Much of the credit for this energy and vision goes to Prasanna Rajendran, 53, who heads the ARS with the designation of assistant director of research.

Rajendran’s success has been such that the ARS’s annual income is Rs 2.56 crores. For next year, it has set a target of Rs 3 crores.

Compare that to Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) which earns Rs 8 crores annually from 3,500 acres. The ARS with just 25 acres adds Rs 2.56 crores to the KAU’s kitty.

What has led to this transformation? Rajendran attributes it to “just a little common sense and team work”. He adds: “Whatever we’ve done here is possible in any other research institution.”

Started in 1963, the Anakkayam ARS was once a cashew research station with 25 acres of rain-fed dryland. Only one scientist and five labourers worked here. Every summer, drinking water had to fetched from outside. The station’s annual revenue was a paltry Rs 4.92 lakhs. It had been all but written off.

Today ARS trains youth in agriculture, works with self-help groups (SHGs) and produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which are processed and sold.”

read more at Civil Society Online – A WONDER FARM IN KERALA.

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