Ranni: Farmer Reji Joseph of Kadaykethil at Pulloopram is attracting attention at agricultural exhibitions by displaying bumper crops such as a seven-feet-long yam, 130kg of tapioca from a single plant, a lady's finger having a length of 28 inches, a colocasia which is 7.6 feet long and other items. Reji's most recent achievement is a 'kanthari padappan' tapioca weighing around 50kg.
The seven-foot-long yam weighs 100kg and could be extracted from the ground only by digging a pit having a depth of 10 feet. Reji also grew African yam which had a weight of nearly 50kg.
Reji carries out farming on leased land near Poovanmala LP School. The biggest challenge he faces is from wild boars. Rats are another menace, he adds.
The dedicated farmer carries out organic farming and grows blue yam, 'peruvalathil' yam grown by Adivasis, elephant yam, colocasia, tapioca, banana, ginger and turmeric. Reji has already found a place in the Limca Book of Records with his lady's finger and colocasia.
According to Reji, participation at farm expos helps him learn new techniques from other farmers.