Kerala Develop Conventional Rice Varieties, Harvest 15 Tonnes/12 months

Whereas dwelling in Mumbai, Pavithra A and her husband Mohammed Rinas from Kerala by no means loved the fast-paced metropolis life. They missed being with nature and gaining access to clear and wholesome meals. The couple longed to return dwelling and had been all the time searching for the best alternative.

That’s when Pavithra got here to find out about a undertaking by the Salim Ali Basis in Kerala. She grabbed the chance to maneuver again dwelling. Thus in 2016, she left her HR generalist job at a multinational firm to affix as a undertaking coordinator for the inspiration.

Inside a 12 months, Rinas give up his job as a mechanical engineer within the oil and gasoline trade to affix his spouse.

The couple labored for the inspiration’s undertaking in Vellangallur panchayat in Thrissur, Kerala. It was their flagship undertaking to advertise acutely aware and self-sustaining improvement within the area.

After engaged on the undertaking for a while, the couple was motivated to take up natural farming. Quickly, they leased round 15 acres of barren land in Vellangallur and turned it into an natural farm cultivating conventional rice varieties.

Right this moment, they’ve expanded their cultivation to twenty acres and are rising round 15 tonnes of paddy on common yearly. In addition they promote value-added rice merchandise like puttu (logs of rice flour steamed with coconut) powder, flattened rice, and many others.

Their journey from the company world to the social sector, and ultimately taking on natural farming didn’t occur in a single day!

A mission to advertise clear meals

Mohammed Rinas and Pavithra A
Mohammed Rinas and Pavithra A.

Their revenue was decreased whereas working for the inspiration. Pavithra earned a small wage whereas Rinas largely labored without cost. However they are saying they had been the happiest once they stepped into social work.  

“The shift wasn’t straightforward, however I don’t have any regrets,” Pavithra tells The Higher India. “I hated working in air-conditioned places of work, and I’m now blissful that I get to work on the sphere, that too for a social trigger,” she says.

In line with them, this expertise opened a complete new means in entrance of them that ultimately impressed them to take up agriculture.

“As a part of the undertaking, we labored collectively to create consciousness about natural farming amongst farmers. In addition to, Rinas helped the farmers with the technological and machinery-related facets like establishing drip irrigation programs, aquaponics, and many others,” explains Pavithra.

Engaged on the undertaking itself was a studying expertise for the couple who realised the significance of rising clear meals.

“Whereas working in Mumbai, I used to examine farming over the web. However I actually acquired fascinated about it solely after engaged on the undertaking. Pavithra additionally shared the identical curiosity. So, we each determined to take up paddy cultivation as we Keralites eat numerous rice, and due to this fact it’s important to domesticate it organically, “ explains Rinas.

Sowing rice manually (left) and using a rice-sowing machine (rigth)
Sowing rice manually (left) and utilizing a rice-sowing machine (proper)

However it was simpler stated than completed. Despite the fact that they determined to start out farming on 15 acres of land, Pavithra says, “We didn’t find the money for to kick begin it. So, we needed to pawn some jewelry from Rinas’s mom, and that’s how we began our farming journey.”


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The land was barren and was left unused for a number of years. It was the primary problem they confronted whereas beginning out farming.

“Each of us didn’t have prior expertise in farming and we figured it out ultimately. However natural cultivation of conventional rice is tougher than inorganic strategies because it requires extra manpower. Subsequently cost-efficiency is a problem,” provides Rinas.

One other problem they confronted is discovering a market house for natural produce. He provides, “We will’t promote natural produce as simply because the inorganic produce, as a result of there isn’t sufficient market house for our merchandise.”

Couple's paddy cultivation at Vellangallur panchayat in Thrissur, Kerala
Their paddy cultivation at Vellangallur panchayat in Thrissur, Kerala

The couple targeted on conventional rice varieties as a result of they believed that it’s extra sustainable and nutritious than the hybrid ones. “We additionally felt that it’s important to carry nutritious and clear meals into the market,” says Pavithra.

Rakthashali, Kuruva, Thavalakannan, Kunju Kunju crimson rice, Njavara, Kodukanni and Pattambi are a number of the conventional rice varieties they’ve cultivated up to now. “Amongst all of the varieties Kuruva and Kodukanni have been probably the most yielding,” says Rinas.

He provides, “The Rakthashali rice is a standard selection with a number of medicinal properties and has an enormous demand available in the market. However its yield is much less when in comparison with different varieties. When different varieties yield round 1,200 kg on a median, Rakthashali yields round 700–800 kg per acre.”

In line with him, “On common, we may domesticate round 15 tonnes of paddy from 20 acres.”

Although they had been capable of domesticate round 1,500 kg per acre within the first harvest in 2018, the next years had been a bit difficult. “Because of floods, cyclone Ockhi, and the pandemic-induced restrictions, it was very tough for us to discover a tempo. However this 12 months we’re hopeful because it has been going easily,” says Pavithra reminding us that it’s nonetheless unpredictable because of the drastic change within the local weather.

Pavithra and Rinas not solely develop rice, but in addition make a number of rice-based value-added merchandise resembling flattened rice, rice powder, and puttu powder.

“We promote Kuruva rice for Rs 90 per kg and its rice powder and puttu powder for Rs 140 per kg. We additionally make the identical merchandise out of different rice varieties like Rakthashali, on request,” says Rinas, including that they promote their merchandise by social media.

For extra data and enquiries, you may contact them at +91 95446 77707

Edited by Pranita Bhat; Picture credit: Pavithra A

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