It was born out of necessity. Precisely speaking, to keep away snakes and other creepy crawlies! But now Technopark, with a employee strength of 30,000, revels in its agrarian activities. Nearly an acre of land, behind the Technopark Club, grows some 500 plantains. The initiative is over a year old and the Club, which is spearheading the farming activities, is even planning to branch out into other crops, probably tapioca.
“This empty plot was overgrown with weeds. The techies who used to come to the courts nearby for outdoor games used to complain about their encounters with snakes and other creatures. So, we decided to put the land to some use. Plantain cultivation was the best option before us,” says K. Sasidharan, administrator of the Technopark Club.
The ‘nenthran,’ ‘robusta,’ and ‘njaalipoovan’ varieties of bananas are now being grown here. The bunch will be ready for its third round of harvest within a couple of months. “We take guidance and support from the Department of Agriculture. Once the crops fell prey to a pest – ‘pattala puzhu,’ and we could tackle it with the Department’s help,” adds Sasidharan.
The best part is, only organic manure is used – cow dung, ash, and neem cake. “It has been a profitable and hassle-free experience for us. The bananas are sold among the employees, that too at much lesser rates when compared to the market rates,” adds K.C. Chandrasekharan Nair, treasurer, Technopark Club.
Watering, manuring and other activities have been divided among four employees of the Club, who take turns and do the work. The Club employs daily-wage labourers to remove the weeds and other wild growth.
The Technopark Club has some other success stories to narrate on the farming front. “During Onam, we planted yellow cucumber and snake gourd and had a bumper yield,” Sasidharan says.
News Sourced from “The Hindu” dated 17.12.2011