Vakkachan is a popular name among the organic farmers in Kerala. His Organic seed farm is one of the internationally acclaimed and approved farmers of organic seeds. He is sending quality seeds all over India and abroad for the people who are health conscious. Organic seeds of vegetables prepared by Vakkachan alias George Antony are of assured quality. Elephant tusk lady’s finger, which is having its presence only in Kerala, one meter pea, fibreless pea, square pea, daily brinjal, salad cucumber and sword pea are the top moving items, Vakkachan says. Elephant tusk lady’s finger is generally of 50-55 cm in length and 5-6 in number will weigh one kilogram. It is good for patients with asthma, diabetes and cholesterol, he said. He promotes five varieties of brinjal including blue mararikkulam brinjal, ten varieties of chilly mainly blue,white, green kantharis, ujwala, green, violet and komban kondattom chilly, gooseberry shaped chilly and pumpkin shaped chilly.
Other seeds of fame are amaranthus, bitter gourd, pumpkin, snake gourd, sponge cucumber, broad beans (both creeper and shrub), dioscorea and purple yam. After identifying the medicinal use, dioscorea is in big demand. It is rich in starch, calcium and protein. It helps to produce fluids in the human body joints and good for diabetic patients, he says. Clove beans are another special variety which is rich in potassium and can harvest daily around the year.
More than 30 varieties of seeds are available in Vakkachan’s farm. He also supplies to certain shops in Pala and Bharananganam. He sells one packet of seed having 25 seeds for Rs.15/- The cost of Dioscorea (Air potato) is Rs.300/kg .In Kumbha month of Malayalam calendar (Feb- March), there is big demand for yam varieties, he says. His preservation and packing methods are very traditional and that is the strength of the products.
Vakkachan regularly attends organic fairs .Recently; he participated in the International Organic fair at New Delhi. In 2015, he attended Chandigarh fair also. Both fair were conducted by Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI) supported by Government of India. He got good sales and order from there. He takes classes on organic farming and shares his experience with the farmers who shift from chemical farming to organic. On farm visit to his farm by students of schools, colleges and universities and people from different walks of life changes the mindset of the visitors, he claims.
Vakkachan is an innovator too. He makes tulsi traps, yellow traps for flies and varieties of rat traps. His farm is an example of integrated farming, having tuber crops, vegetables, spices, cash crops, fruits, animal husbandry and medicinal plants. Vakkachan is having 2 children, Rony,the elder one who is doing engineering and younger one Dony is an enthusiastic young farmer also. He studies in plus one. He got the best student farmer award of Kottayam district, Kerala having prize money of Rs.10, 000/- and a citation. Vakkachan’s wife Sheeja George is a very supportive business partner. His father Antony is now 95, but very energetic and still climb areca plant to pluck areca nut. Mother Eliyamma is now 92 is also very healthy. Both are healthy because they worked hard and ate only organic food, he says. Vakkachan’s sister Neha is a nun running a school of Sisters of Norterdam at Darjeeling. He is part of a bigger family of Antony –Elizabeth couple having 4 brothers and 4 sisters. Except Neha , all are settled in high ranges , mainly Nedumkandam, Chinnar and Thodupuzha of Idukki district, Kerala .
Contact: George Antony,
Vakkachan’s Organic Seed Farm,
Poovarani , Kottayam, Kerala – 686577
Phone – 9447808417/ 8547046041
V R Ajith Kumar
Editor, Agriculture World