Thursday, April 18, 2024

Meet Kamachi Chellammal, Andaman’s ‘Nariyal Amma’, chosen for Padma Shri for natural coconut farming


67-year-old farmer Kamachi Chellammal from Rangachang in South Andaman who has been chosen for the Padma Shri award for her contribution in natural coconut plantation.
| Photograph Credit score: PTI

Kamachi Chellammal, a 67-year-old lady of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was chosen for the Padma Shri award for her excellent contribution to natural coconut plantation.

Chellammal, popularly often known as ‘Nariyal Amma’ hails from Rangachang in South Andaman.

She makes use of coconut leaves and husks as mulching on the plantation to protect moisture within the soil in the course of the post-rainy season.

Mulching is the act of protecting the soil with mulches comparable to bark, wooden chips, leaves, and different natural supplies to be able to protect moisture and enhance the situation of the soil.

Chellammal mentioned her methodology not solely helps in minimising moisture loss from the soil but additionally reduces the weed inhabitants which is extraordinarily necessary for a wholesome coconut plantation.

She additionally adopted Built-in Pest Administration technique, as a substitute of dangerous chemical compounds, through which she opted for ‘lure vegetation’ (which varies from one plantation to a different) to draw bugs to launch pheromones (within the air) which disrupt the pure mating cycle of pests. This helped her management the pest inhabitants.

“I additionally did coconut-based multi species cropping by successfully utilising interspaces in my 10 acres of land. This built-in farming system helped me to beat the challenges of the low market value of coconut (earlier than the implementation of MSP). This additionally helped me in producing extra income,” Chellammal mentioned.

For multi species cropping, she makes use of numerous vegetation comparable to elephant foot yam, banana, groundnut, pineapple, candy potato, inexperienced chilly, tube rose, gladiolus, marigold and inexperienced greens.

Over time, Chellammal inspired different farmers to undertake natural farming.

Expressing gratitude to the Centre for choosing for the Padma Shri award, she advised PTI that after getting the primary telephone name from the federal government, she thought it was a prank.

“I dwell in a distant village and that too in Andaman and Nicobar Islands… Why will somebody confer me with such a prestigious award? I used to be confused however later, somebody from the Andaman administration advised me that I used to be actually awarded with the Padma Shri,” she mentioned.

Her son Ramachandran who helps Chellammal in her farming too was delighted with the information and mentioned that they’re now planning to advertise agro-tourism of their farmland.

“I personally really feel that agro-tourism has plenty of potential and I’m certain our number of crops, spice gardens, and fish farming will draw not solely the native individuals, and college students but additionally plenty of vacationers,” he mentioned.

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