Ollur: Two siblings from Paralam in Kerala's Thrissur district have earned a unique tag for themselves in the agricultural field. Santhosh and Sanoj are credited with turning even the most barren plots into good agricultural land.
The lush paddy fields at Kuttenlloor Chilankapaadam, Puthoor Kayal, and Puzhambalam stand testimonials for their hard work.
The siblings boast of 104 acres of paddy fields, 30,000 banana plants, and 75 cows.
How it all began
Santhosh and Sanoj had lost their father Chandran at a young age and were brought up by their mother.
As soon as Sanoj completed his class X, elder brother Santhosh introduced him to the world of agriculture. They began by starting banana cultivation in a plot of land they took on lease with the help of their grandfather. Today, they carry out various types of cultivation in hundreds of acres of land. Their relationship continues to be strong even years later, proving to be their winning formula.
From infertile to bountiful
The siblings find lot of pleasure in taking up infertile lands, which have not seen cultivation for years, and making them into suitable for agriculture. They apply the same method for paddy farming, banana cultivation or cow farm.
They clear out hilly areas that have been covered with wilderness and let the cattle graze on the upper part, while the lower portion is dedicated for banana cultivation. The cow dung would become the manure for the banana plants.
They are only happy to start farming in land where no cultivation was carried out for years as the first harvest is sure to give a good yield. Farmers had been avoiding Puzhambalam and Puthoor areas, where water remains stagnant for most part of the year. But Santhosh and Sanoj were to able work their magic in these areas too.
The Puthoor battle
To put an end to the practice of dumping waste on the area along the National Highway, the Puthoor panchayat came up with idea of turning the land into a paddy field. Authorities then began the hunt for finding farmers for the land, which had not seen cultivation for 30 years. Santhosh and Sanoj were ready to take up the challenge.
But as soon as the siblings arrived, the threats from land mafia too came their way. However, they refused to back down. Once the wild bushes were removed, they faced another menace of the leech. The brothers wore long boots to keep these at bay, but broken glasses pieces tore into their shoes. They overcame all these hurdles only to face the obstacle put forth by the nature. Heavy rain in the region brought in tonnes of plastic waste into the field.
They had to shell out a good amount of money to remove these, only to find that even toilet waste was finding ways to the field. This caused damage to nearly two acres of the paddy fields. However, these wastes were also removed and the siblings planted the saplings. The panchayat authorities came to the aid of siblings and built a canal to prevent the waste from reaching the paddy field. The land mafia were also forced to turn back.
At the end, they spent nearly one lakh for each acre. But the siblings are happy to have overcome the obstacles and carry out cultivation in the area.
Minister V S Sunil Kumar would inaugurate the koythulsavam (harvest festival) during an event at Chilankapadam on Saturday.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by the authorities. Santhosh has already won two district awards of the animal welfare department and dairy development department.
The brothers do not even seek subsidies for the farming initiatives as they are reluctant to go behind the government formalities. They only take the government aid that comes their way. However, they said that all departments, officials, people's representatives, including Minister V S Sunilkumar, wholeheartedly supported them for the Chilankapadam initiative.
After their successful outing at Chilankapadam, paddy cultivation was started at six places at the Puthoor panchayat alone. The siblings said that they are happy to note this positive development. Several people approach them for organic farm produce, which only prompts the siblings to script further success. Phone number: 9447954000.