November 7, 2023
In Madurai, Isha’s Save Soil Movement organized a traditional Indian vegetable festival that saw an enthusiastic turnout of approximately 2000 farmers and the general public. The event featured experienced farmers and agronomists from various districts who actively engaged in the program and shared insights on enhancing the profitability of vegetable cultivation.
In connection with this event, Mr. Muthukumar, the Tamil Nadu Field Coordinator of the Save Soil Movement, spoke on the theme ‘How to grow vegetables naturally?’ He elaborated on the process of adding value to vegetables and marketing them.
“Today, many young people from various fields, including IT, are turning to organic farming because of its increasing profitability. We have developed a three-month training program for youths interested in organic farming, which will take place at the Isha Model Farm in Coimbatore. Those who are interested in organic farming can stay at the farm and undergo this comprehensive three-month training program,” he mentioned.
Shri. Ramar, a pioneer organic farmer from Ramanathapuram, recounted, “I am doing organic farming on 30 acres in Kamuthi. I have grown chillies as my main crop. We have been producing 200 tons of chillies per year in quality and exporting to the USA and Germany for the last 8 years. Inspired by me, today almost 400 farmers are engaged in organic farming. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met me in person and congratulated me.”
The series of expert sessions commenced with Mr. Poochee Selvam discussing techniques for enhancing vegetable cultivation using beneficial insects, followed by Palladam farmer Shri. Ponmuthu, who shared insights on establishing and managing a successful Natural Market.
Subsequently, vegetable expert Shri. Arun Prakash delved into the medicinal properties of traditional vegetables, while Smt. Priya, known for her Seed Island YouTube Channel and seed-saving expertise, addressed the theme of “The Health of the Home lies in the Home Garden.” Further, Smt. Ponnarasi from Dindigul highlighted the advantages of harvesting drumsticks, and Coimbatore’s pioneer farmer, Shri. Vijayan, elucidated the benefits of cultivating clusters of vegetables for increased profitability. Finally, a thriving farmer from Athur, Shri. Gokulnath, shared valuable insights on generating daily income through spinach farming.
During this event, numerous pioneering farmers showcased their naturally produced goods for public sale. Over 40 stalls were set up, offering a wide range of products, including traditional rice, small grains, honey, and handicrafts. Additionally, in an effort to preserve traditional folk music, Shri. Sound Mani orchestrated a concert featuring more than 80 musical instruments.
Following the musical performance, the Padayal Siva team provided a wholesome meal prepared without the use of stoves or oil to all attendees. Moreover, each participant received a complimentary manual on organic vegetable cultivation and traditional country vegetable seeds. The event also featured an exhibition showcasing simple agricultural tools created by the farmers themselves.