Hannath, wife of a school principal, finds satisfaction and income from her interest in farming.
While pursuing her interest in vegetable cultivation, Hannath has not made any compromises in her household duties. "Earning an income at home, without depending on others, is indeed a matter of pride. Moreover, we have not purchased vegetables over the last 6-7 years," she says.
After growing the vegetables in the compound of the house, Hannath sells them over WhatsApp. Demand for her produce is so high that as soon as she posts photos of her harvest on her WhatsApp group, customers reach her doorstep.
Hannath never has to bargain and the customers pay her the money she demands. She fixes a price considering the amount she spent on the crop and her physical effort. The main customers are the doctors and officials in her neighbourhood. Moreover, as she lives near the city, there is no dearth of demand for organic vegetables. Last month, Hannath earned Rs 7,000.
Hannath has had to shift houses several times as her husband holds a transferable job. But to every rented house, she has brought a truck full of grow bags. She now lives at Kannadikkal in Kozhikode, where too the tile-paved compound has turned into a small ‘forest’ thanks to the grow bags. Hannath has also taken a plot of land nearby on lease and started farming there along with a friend. Meanwhile, Hannath ensures that their rented house suffers no damage owing to her farming activities, especially by the creepers.
It is ivy gourd that has been her best produce. The vegetable can be harvested regularly and earns a good income, too. In addition, Hannath grows lady's finger, bitter gourd, long beans, brinjal, tomato, spinach and other vegetables as per demand. She brings cow dung from her own house at Mukkom to use as manure and often resorts to purchase of soil. Even with such expenses, steady demand ensures that there is a profit, says Hannath.
Kitchen garden and nursery
Plant nursery is an enterprise that involves minimum investment. In other words, anyone can venture into the field with whatever land or funds they have in their possession. Traditionally, nurseries dealt with flowering plants; however, at present, vegetable saplings and seeds have more demand. This situation evolved as a result of kitchen gardens and grow-bag farming gaining widespread popularity in both urban and rural areas.
Apart from leading nurseries, housewives who arrange small-scale nurseries adjacent to their kitchen gardens too earn a handsome income.
For launching a large-scale nursery, some homework is necessary. This involves scientific knowledge of plants and training, without which high-quality saplings and seeds cannot be produced. Moreover, only by marketing standard items can an enterprise gain the confidence of the customers.
Short-term training in techniques like budding, grafting and layering is offered by the Communication Centre at Kerala Agricultural University’s Public Relations Department in Mannuthy.
For more details, contact phone numbers: 0487-2370773, 8086405476.
Moreover, the Kerala State Horticultural Mission offers financial aid for small-scale and large-scale nurseries. Those interested can approach the Krishi Bhavans for more details.
Contact number of Hannath: 9656551330.