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Bio-farming Is Gaining Traction In Cardamom Industry

According to K.P. Anirudhan, a farmer in Karunapuram, biofarming helps reduce production costs and offers the highest quality cardamom on the market.

Shruti Kandwal
Cardamom growers to get benefit from bio farming
Cardamom growers to get benefit from bio farming

When Tomichan M. Thomas and Sharad Patil founded Elamala Bio-Tech Lab in Chellarkovil about a decade ago, they weren't sure if cardamom growers, who rely heavily on harmful pesticides, would be willing to switch to bio-farming.

The lab was built to give bio fungicides and biofertilizers to cardamom planters after field investigations and experiments, with the help of Sivaprasad, former director of the department of Agriculture Microbiology at Kerala Agriculture University.

Cardamom plants are sensitive to inputs and quickly absorb pesticides and fertilizers, resulting in high output, a characteristic that encourages farmers to use pesticides despite the state's ban. Bio-farming, on the other hand, focuses on soil renewal and the development of pest-fighting microorganisms.

According to K.P. Anirudhan, a farmer in Karunapuram who has been bio-farming for five years on his five acres, bio-farming helps reduce production costs and offers the highest quality cardamom on the market. He claims that if followed consistently, it is successful.

"I used chemical insecticides, and it was discovered that the plant's roots deteriorated over time, hurting soil absorption."

As a result, producers employ a lot of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which drives up the cost of cardamom production. He claims that switching to bio-farming will lower production costs while maintaining plant health.

He claims that bio-farming has reduced diseases and pests on his land. By allowing dead leaves to degrade and create micronutrients in the soil, bio-farming rejuvenates the soil.

According to Mr. Thomas, about a dozen biotech laboratories can be found in cardamom-growing districts in Idukki, indicating that farmers are turning to bio-farming in the face of high production costs. He claims that bio-farming is completely natural.

A farmer named Varghese Joseph claims to have nine acres of cardamom planted on leased property in Mlamala. A year ago, he switched to bio-farming. He claims to have tracked plant development and discovered that it was more successful in preventing capsule rot, root tip rot, and capsule brown spot.

The widespread use of hazardous pesticides drives up manufacturing costs. Farmers get more money by lowering production costs and improving cardamom quality, he claims. Bio-farming has the potential to alter the cardamom industry, which is infamous for using harmful pesticides to devastate the Cardamom Hill Reserve ecology.

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