September 13, 2022

11-year-old kid with terrace farm wins Department of Agriculture award

There is only one thing that Niranjan P., an 11-year-old from Valluvalli in the Kottuvally panchayat, is sure of when asked about the future.

“I want to grow vegetables and grow flowers and fruit plants in a large area,” said the class 6 student at Chavara Darsan CMI public school in Kottuvalli, where he is also secretary of the nature club.

His passion for farming recently earned him an award from the Department of Agriculture as one of the district’s top child farmers. At home, he bustles about on the terrace, where vegetables, flowers and fruit plants grow, which he maintains in the company of his little sister who loves him as much as he does.

“He was drawn to farming from an early age. My family is from the upscale area near Adimaly where we farm on a considerable area. He liked to pick vegetables there about when he started walking and we taught him that to like picking fruits and vegetables, he first had to grow them,” said Simi Prajeesh, Niranjan’s mother. and engineer by profession.

He seems to have learned those early lessons well. He also landed in a school that encouraged his passion even more. The school has used its large campus for a wide variety of agricultural activities, from dryland paddy cultivation to vegetables and fruits. The school also won the award for best institute to undertake vegetable farming.

Niranjan spends every evening tending to his terraced farm and has developed his own organic manure mix, which was one of the factors that helped him win the award.

“Niranjan’s family was the first we visited as part of our campaign to attract children to farming. His mother shared with us her fondness for agriculture and asked for our help. For a child of his age, he has considerable knowledge of agriculture and manure,” said SK Shinu, Assistant Agricultural Officer, Krishi Bhavan, Kottuvally. He was instrumental in documenting the youngster’s activities and sending him in for the award.