Starting with one of the famous quote of George Washington
“ Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most Noble employment of man.”
I Like to introduce you all with Mr Bean of our India, Narayanan Kannalayam . No, he Is not an actor . But he is a journalist of Kerala who has already made a great scratch in Indian agriculture industry.
It’s all started five years ago when the United Nation general assembly declared 2016 as the International year of pulses. At that point our 51 years old Journalist began his research into this. And started pulse Cultivation in his home state .In words of 51 year old Narayanan “ My research took me to Wayanad’s M S Swaminathan Research Foundation’s Community Agrobiodiversity Centre. There, I found out that 97 varieties of beans are grown in Kerala, and of them, three are wild varieties which are not edible. I took 23 varieties from the institute back home,”
Then Narayanan decided to cultivate those seeds at the same year 2016 on his 7 acre land. Only for his eager to search he also collected over 80 varieties of pulses from traditional farmers throughout all over the India including adverse areas like Rajasthan and Assam.
Narayanan didn’t hire any employee for farming. Before journalism, his origin belongs to farming S Narayan come from and agricultural family. Narayanan’s mother P Shantha and wife Sreeja help him at the farm. Their routine entails reaching fields to water the plants around 5 am, and by 7:30, Narayanan heads for office. His mother and wife look into other requirements on the land, such as planting new saplings and harvesting vegetables. Narayanan returns home by 4 in the evening, and joins his mother and wife on the plot, where they hand over the remaining work to him. After finishing off work around 10 pm, he hits the sack, as he has to be up early the next day.
Narayanan grows 87 varieties of beans on his farm, including puli payar, kappa payar, piriyan, chatura payar and valli payar. Apart from beans, he also grows cauliflower, ginger, radish, carrot, ridge gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd, okra, dragon fruit, mango, spinach, brinjal, cucumber, cassava, yam, taro, turmeric, sweet potato, sugarcane, rubber, among others. He also has 12 varieties of plantain and seven varieties of lemon. He uses cow dung powder for manure.
The produce is sold at Kolathur Farmers’ Society at Perladukkam in Bedadka panchayat, from which he earns around Rs 25,000 a month. He sells the seeds to nearby farmers in his village. “I want other farmers to cultivate vegetables as well, and to motivate them, I give out these seeds for free. More than 25 farmers collect seeds from me on a monthly basis,” he says,
Narayanan also sells value-added products like bitter gourd crisps and curd chilli, which are now popular products in his village.
Now i would like to state his aim considering his statement
“ For there will be new varieties only if the old survives”
Narayanan prefers to call himself a conservator first, then a farmer. He has more than three varieties of most of the vegetables mentioned above. He even has seven varieties of the hibiscus plant. But his biggest contribution to farming is he is the proud owner of 90 varieties of indigenous beans and peas. He cultivates each of the varieties to conserve them. “Earlier farmers were conservators too. But now they depend on the market every sowing season. I thought we should not lose out on the indigenous varieties in the mad rush for hybrid ones,” he says
Also spreading awareness about this conservation is also become an prior aim of our journalist. He has nudged at least 80 women and children in his neighbourhood to set up kitchen gardens.
Recognising his effort, the Kerala Agricultural University has nominated him for the Plant Genome Saviour Farmer Reward instituted by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority.
In the end we have forced to consider that this man has proven
“ Age is only a number.”
As, Narayanan is not just a farmer. He is an accredited journalist with an evening daily in Kasaragod, a theatre artiste, helps publish work of rural talent, and a sought-after social worker.
We all appreciates his works from our bottom of the heart and wish may his all dreams can touch the sky.