1. Success Story

The Women Farmer and Awardee who is set to Reap Gold from Soil

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
farmer
Dolly Joseph of Pathikkara

Dolly Joseph of Pathikkara, Kasargode, Kerala is the proud Recipient of Best Women Farmer Award by the Department of Agriculture, Kerala. In a Conversation with her she conveys she knows nothing but only to cultivate and farm. She has been farming for more than 30 years. Living in a tropical region she takes immense pride in cultivating Vegetables that are cool season. She has 6 acres of farm in which she harvests gold. Her husband passed away when she was 28 and she had been single handedly responsible for bringing up her three kids.  

There is no such fruit or vegetable or tuber which Dolly doesn’t have in her farm. She   grows coconut and rubber, tubers and yams and also has paddy, ginger, turmeric and all kinds of vegetables in a green house in her terrace. Its been 6 years since she has been doing dry rice among the coconut plantations. If she sows 20 kg she will definitely get 80 kg in return. She does everything on her own without any assistance, such as weeding, tapping, milking, weeding and digging. After the death of her husband, Dolly struggled in the soil alone and succeeded in farming. It was farming that kept her sane says Dolly and we dully agree to that. She buys her seeds from the nearby Agriculture University at Padannekad. She has well wishers also who shares seeds with her. 

Cauliflower

As their region faces torrential rains Bhindi, Legumes, Tomatoes, Squash, Plantains, Onions, Zucchini, and Brinjals and experimental winter crops such as Cauliflower, Cabbage and Carrot are grown in the Green house in the terrace.She has huge cauliflowers and cabbages to show us through the live videos. She gives us tips like spraying cold water when the cool season vegetables are in a young stage. 

Since they have four cows, in addition to milk, they use their own manure and organic pesticides made from cow dung and cow urine for their crops. Potting mixture has to be very friable and rich in Organic Manure and the rooted vegetables need less of Organic manure and a little friability more for their roots to penetrate deeper says Dolly. She composts all her waste on her farm and uses it for her plants. She has ring composts at home to make home compost at her home. She makes Jeevamritha and also makes a leaf concoction and fish amino acid for spraying on all her crops says Dolly. 

Vegetables

When in Conversation with the Editor, Dr Lakshmi Unnithan, dolly explains the preparation of Fish Amino acid, she takes a kilo of salmon along with a kilo of jaggery and keeps it for 21 days .She takes 30 ml of it along in one litre of water and sprays it on the plants. She recognises this mixture in being very helpful in flowering and fruiting. 20 g of Pseudomonas in one litre of water can be sprayed on plants and stems. They are also applied directly to soils as a way of preventing the growth or establishment of crop pathogens. They colonize roots of agricultural crops and they promote plant growth and health by suppressing soil borne diseases, by stimulating plant immune defences and by improving nutrient availability in soil.  

Jeevamritha is been prepared by mixing Cow Dung : 10 Kilo,10 litre: Cow Urine, Ground Nut Cake:10 kg,Besan:2 kg. She keeps all these for 7 days and reminds us to mix it atleast twice a day.  A ratio of 1 Jeevamritha : 10 water has to be sprayed on to the plants . 

She also details on the green leaf concoction that she uses. Fresh Cow Dung: 2 kg, Cow Urine:10 litre, Neem leaves:500g. Aloevera:500 g, Adalodakam leaves:500g,Lantana:500g,Communist green:500g,Nochi leaves:500g,Cassia leaves:500 g,Turmeric:250 g,Garlic:250 g. After all these leaves get fully decomposed, then 30ml of this needs to be added with 1 litre of water for spraying on the plant. 

We are extremely happy to see what Dolly had single handedly achieved. Her products are sold at eco shops and also at the Farmers Market in Vellarikund. We would want more Women farmers to stand beside her, voice her energy and practice what she had been undertaking as a responsible citizen of growing her own food. She has submitted her presentations to the Kerala State Government for her to be recognised as a State Farmer. She also has a Youtube channel named Dolly Pachakari and she vouches by that and invites us to subscribe and check on it .We hope all her dreams come true. 

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