Farmers Ditch Cash Crops, Turn to ‘Fruit’ful Ventures

By K R Ranjith

KANNUR : When he thought of making agriculture his mainstay a few years back, Anilkumar K of Alakkode here chose not to be lured by the rubber prices that were on a high then. It was almost blasphemous to ignore the pull of the latex then in the hilly area. But he turned his five-acre plot in Josegiri on the slopes of Western Ghats into an orchard full of mango, sapodilla and orange and nearly seventy varieties of fruits.

A good part of his farm is reserved for – rambutan, the exquisite hairy fruits of Malaysian origin, pulasan and exotic fruits such as durian and mangostine among others. “All 200 rambutan trees in my farm have started yielding good harvest and the pulasan, mangostine and durian trees are also promising,” Anilkumar said. “You cannot eat latex!” Anilkumar replied quite bluntly when asked why he chose the path less travelled by. “Even if the markets ditch you, these fruits would fill your belly,” he said, taking a dig at the sloppy agriculture policies that fervently promoted by government and other agencies that solely depend on the vagaries of the market.

Read more here: http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Farmers-Ditch-Cash-Crops-Turn-to-%E2%80%98Fruit%E2%80%99ful-Ventures/2014/12/25/article2587246.ece