Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Bought out by students the journal is quite a treatise on farming.
The story of farming is also an interesting account of the evolution of society from nomadic groups to people engaged in cultivating land for food and clothing.
A book on lost farming practices of Kerala got up by students’ of Thiruvangoor Higher Secondary School near Kozhikode delves into an unusual, and often neglected area of concern. Karshikam, the slick volume was part of their journalism course an d takes the reader through the lush green paddy fields and coconut plantations that was so much part of the Kerala landscape.Great reading
The attractive publication of 175 odd pages also reminds us of the once prevalent farming system that provided food security to the people besides conserving nature. The colourful jacket displays the rich traditional crops of Kerala like coconut, areca and paddy.
Karshikam, edited by Ratheesh Kaliyadan, teacher in Journalism of Thiruvangoor Higher Secondary School has interesting accounts of what Malayali poets and writers had to say about agricultural practices.
Readers are familiar with the works of Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer, Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon, Changampuzha, G. Shankara Kurup, P. Valsala and others.
The students compiled Karshikam by enquiring from those who have had long years of experience in agriculture in Koilandi and the surrounding areas in the Kozhikode District as part of a three-month study programme.
The initiative provided various opportunities for investigative journalism, says Mr. Ratheesh.
Dealing with very topical issues, Karshikam comes at a juncture when suicide among farmers is a matter of concern.
Written in a simple style, the chapters delve into the many aspects of farming practices such as preparing the field, judicious use of fertilizers, farm implements, and the careful conservation of seed for the next season’s crop.
The reader is informed of the peculiar rites connected to sowing and harvesting the rich diversity of food crops, feudal land systems in vogue, besides peasant-landlord relationship, literature and lore related to farming and agriculture as mentioned in the Vedas and Koran.
This is the third publication being brought out by the students as part of the journalism course.
Nattarangu and Arulappad earlier publications of the Thiruvangoor School had enquired into the folklore traditions of North Malabar. The Agriculture Minister, Mullakara Ratnakaran, released the book at a programme in Kozhikode recently.
THE HINDU,Online edition of India's National NewspaperFriday, Nov 02, 2007