Kanjikuzhi, what’s so remarkable about this place? A small village panchayath, located on the coastal line of Kerala stands as a paradigm of community empowerment instigated by the unflagging support of local administrative authorities. Kanjikuzhi owns the pride of being a pioneer into exploring the realms of Organic farming in a period where the term organic farming itself was beyond everyone’s ken. Here is the story of how the people of kanjikuzhi created a farming revolution with effective guidance from the panchayath administrators. A true incident that would leave anyone transfixed!
It all began in the year 1994. Kanjikuzhi lying on the shores of the Arabian sea wasn’t bestowed with fertile cultivable soil. With not being able to rely on agriculture and a meager primary income, the people in the village strived very hard to buy high-priced vegetables from other parts of the state. Considering this as an impediment to their progress, in the year 1995, the panchayath heads decided to make it compulsory for every family in the village to cultivate their own vegetables in the terrace or any other limited space available. Though the concept of organic farming wasn’t popular that time, our traditional agricultural practices embraced organic methods before the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This triggered the idea of establishing a sustainable farming method among panchayath members.
Many challenges were hovering on the way to the successful implementation of this plan. Although the soil of the place was considered unfit for crop cultivation, it was loaded with nutrients. Altering the texture of the soil with proper composting and irrigation methods, the panchayath members along with 60 households initiated the practice.
Envisioning a vegetable-sufficient panchayath, the local administrative body has never forgotten to provide unremitting motivation to the households. To not witness any lack of energy and enthusiasm among the households, the panchayath has set up volunteers to guide, supervise, and reinforce the process with various supplies and equipment.
The rest is history! Kanjikuzhi is now the only chemical-free, vegetable-sufficient village panchayath in Kerala. Around 8600 families grow their own veggies such as cucumber, cauliflower, brinjal, lady’s finger, cabbage, green chili, bitter gourd, snake gourd, and beans through organic means. The Surplus yield is being sold to other parts of Kerala making it a profitable venture.
Kankikuzhi’s initiative is an exemplar of socio-economic upliftment driven by organic cultivation. The story of kanjikuzhi, a soil-deprived region turning into a national model of effective organic farming is inspiring everyone in the country. A concept worth replicating, isn’t it? Then why do we wait, let’s grow organic!
“It would also bring some income to these households, while the buyers could take home healthy and naturally grown vegetables from Kanjikuzhi”- MG Raju, the panchayat president of Kanjikuzhi.