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Kamachi Chellammal aka 'Nariyal Amma' Honoured with Padma Shri Award

From a remote village to national recognition, Nariyal Amma's journey is a testament to resilience, innovation, and a commitment to sustainable farming practices.

Shivam Dwivedi
Nariyal Amma's Triumph: Padma Shri Honor for Organic Coconut Pioneer in A&N Islands (Photo Source: @G_Bhasker432/X)
Nariyal Amma's Triumph: Padma Shri Honor for Organic Coconut Pioneer in A&N Islands (Photo Source: @G_Bhasker432/X)

A 67-year-old woman from Rangachang, South Andaman named Kamachi Chellammal has become an inspiration among the tranquil surroundings of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. She is fondly referred to as 'Nariyal Amma,' and she was recently honored with the prestigious Padma Shri award, recognizing her remarkable dedication to organic coconut farming. However, the recognition serves as a testament to her untiring efforts in making a difference in the field of agriculture. Expressing gratitude, she sees the award as a nod to the dedication put into sustainable farming practices.

Innovative Techniques by Nariyal Amma Transforming Traditional Farming

Chellammal's farming techniques have redefined traditional coconut cultivation. One of her groundbreaking methods involves using coconut leaves and husks as mulching during the post-rainy season. This not only preserves crucial soil moisture but also acts as a natural deterrent to weed growth, fostering the health of her coconut plantation.

Integrated Pest Management for Sustainable Farming

In a move towards sustainability, Chellammal has adopted Integrated Pest Management. Instead of resorting to harmful chemicals, she employs ‘trap plants’ strategically placed in her plantation. These plants attract insects, releasing pheromones that disrupt the natural mating cycle of pests. This innovative approach has proven effective in controlling pest populations, ensuring the well-being of her crops.

Nariyal Amma Practices Multi-Species Cropping

Chellammal's commitment to sustainable practices extends to her 10-acre land, where she practices multi-species cropping. Alongside coconuts, her cultivation includes elephant foot yam, banana, groundnut, pineapple, sweet potato, green chilly, tube rose, gladiolus, marigold, and green vegetables. This integrated farming system not only overcame challenges posed by low coconut market prices but also substantially increased her revenue.

Championing the Cause: Encouraging Fellow Farmers

Chellammal's journey is not solitary. Over the years, she has actively encouraged fellow farmers to embrace organic practices, contributing to a larger movement towards sustainable agriculture. Her efforts have made her a symbol of resilience, innovation, and sustainable farming practices.

Agro-Tourism: A New Horizon

Along with her son Ramachandran, who supports her in farming, Chellammal sees an exciting opportunity in agro-tourism. They plan to showcase their diverse crops, spice gardens, and fish farming to not only locals and students but also tourists. Ramachandran believes that agro-tourism has immense potential and can attract a wide audience.

As Nariyal Amma continues to inspire a new generation of farmers and enthusiasts, her story highlights the transformative power of individual efforts in shaping the future of agriculture.

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