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Kerala will have India’s first carbon-neutral farm

The State Seed Farm at Kerala's Aluva will become India's first carbon-neutral farm

Kerala’s State Seed Farm located in Aluva, Ernakulam district will soon enjoy the singular distinction of being the country’s first farm that is carbon-neutral.

Explaining to the media the concept of carbon-neutral farming, Lissymol J. Vadakuttu, Assistant Director of Agriculture at Aluva’s State Seed Farm said: “A carbon-neutral farming practice involves absorption of all the carbon that gets released during various agriculture practices in the soil itself.”

This is achieved by avoiding using fossil fuels, energy-consuming equipment, not using chemicals during cultivation, practising mixed farming, keeping native breeds of goat, chicken, ducks and cows and producing vermicompost.

The main crop in the farm is high-yielding paddy and a variety of this crop is grown including njavara, rakthashali, Japanese violet, chottadi, and pokkali. By mixing five different varieties there is reduction in attacks by pests and diseases thereby avoiding the use of pesticides completely.

Farming of goats, cows, chicken, ducks, bees, fish, vermicompost and azolla has also helped in cutting down waste generation. Converting agriculture waste into compost provides fertiliser for the fields as does cow dung. The ducks and hens in the farm help in controlling pests.

The animals on the farm are fed fodder, grass, hay and barn, all of which are produced at the farm. To become completely carbon-neutral, the farm has solar panels on the roof which helps in meeting the need for power.

On December 10 State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will declare the farm carbon-neutral.