Mrs. Sreedevi Gopalakrishnan (51), Gokulam, Vallikunnam, is a house wife and a genuinely interested person in farming who is involved in cultivation of vegetables, fruits, tubers and spices, sesamum, paddy, besides rearing 1-2 cows (local breeds) and 10-12 chicks in traditional ways. Even though there is a good demand for locally produced vegetables, the declining productivity made farming not very profitable to her. Increasing productivity is very much essential because she is doing farming in her own farm and in leased plots with support of her husband. She has been selling the produce through their own shop and VFPCK market. She was finding it difficult to meet both ends with the insufficient income obtained.
During the year 2018-19, she attended a training programme on ‘Integrated Crop Management in vegetable cultivation’ conducted by KVK – Alappuzha in Vallikunnam Panchayath in collaboration with Krishi Bhavan. The participants were familiarized with technologies for improving soil health condition, SSNM practices, foliar nutrition and plant protection aspects. After the training programme, she has done soil testing, used dolomite as liming material, applied recommended dose of FYM as organic manure and fertilizers based on soil testing. She also adopted foliar application of ‘vegetable mix’ [a multinutrient mix developed by ORARS (KAU) for Onattukkara region] in cowpea grown in 2 cents, @5g/l after 30, 45 and 60 days of planting. Frequent contacts with KVK for technical guidance gave her adequate motivation for achieving a good yield in the demonstration. During demonstration period, she could harvest 185 kg cowpea from 2 cents with ‘vegetable mix’ application compared to 150 kg without this application giving a net profit of @ Rs. 3200/cent with a B:C ratio of 2.32. In the next season, she cultivated 5 cents of cowpea with integrated nutrient management and foliar nutrition of vegetable mix. She could attain a yield of 415 kg from 5 cents with a profit of Rs. 18500/- by an average price of Rs. 80/kg. Now she follows foliar nutrition in other vegetables and crops also. Since a good portion of produces is sold from house and through own shop itself, she is getting a better price.
The Department of Agriculture recognized her farm as one of the model farm in the Panchayath. After visiting her farm and knowing about the scientific practices she is following, many farmers of the village started adopting these practices with the expectations of achieving higher yield and income. Her attempt in making farming a profitable enterprise utilizing the available time at home is really a model for other house wives.