Planting seeds of farming in youth during Covid-19 lockdown

PADMAVATI PRABHU
Monday, 27 April 2020

Being an agriculturist, this unique concept struck his mind when he was thinking about what could be the possible things that people could take up while they are restricted to their homes in view of COVID-19 lockdown.

Mardol: To inculcate interest among the youth to grow their own vegetables, Mardol-based agriculturist Rajendra Desai has started with a unique initiative of sending seeds of various vegetables and other plants to families across the State during the lockdown.

Desai, along with his wife Arti, has made packets of different seeds - brinjals, lady finger, chillies, tomatoes, basil, papaya and coriander, among others and posted it to nearly a hundred families across the State. 

Being an agriculturist, this unique concept struck his mind when he was thinking about what could be the possible things that people could take up while they are restricted to their homes in view of COVID-19 lockdown.

He managed to procure brinjal seeds from some parts of Salcete and other seeds from Zonal Agricultural Office (ZAO) Ponda.

"Due to COVID-19 pandemic, people have been at home since about a month. They must have tried all sorts of activities like checking photo albums, playing games, watching television, among others. So I thought I should come up with something that would keep them engaged while they are under lockdown," said Desai who is also the President of Krutarth Mardol.

According to him there is a need for people to become self-sufficient as the current situation may continue for some time. 

"Children today have no knowledge about growing vegetables. And this is the best time when the elderly can motivate the young generation and also make them aware of the seeds as they are stuck at home together due to the lockdown," he said.

Desai used the postal service to send the seeds to the families as it was not possible to hand over the seeds personally to people due to the lockdown. That too, Desai posted these seeds in the name of the youngest member in the family.

"I posted the seeds in the name of the youngest member in the family so that he could connect with it and there could be a sense of belongingness. Secondly, this move aimed at inculcating love among the young generation towards the nature," he said. 

"Even if they grow two plants of chillies, it would suffice their need for almost a year. And once they find happiness in growing these, next year they may think of growing some other vegetable," he said.

After receiving the seeds, Desai got calls from nearly 30 per cent of the people to whom he had sent the seeds appreciating his efforts.

"I am happy. But I would be the happiest of they grow these seeds," he said.

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