In a new attempt to raise awareness of organic farming, a farmer from Malaiappanallur near Kumbakonam has grown paddy on his field in a pattern that reflects the image of Tamil poet-Saint Thiruvalluvar.
PG Elangovan, 62, a strong supporter of organic farming, had started the work of growing seedlings on Kuzhithattu (hole plates), specifically purchased about three months ago, for this purpose. Thiruvalluvar who has dedicated a separate ‘adhigaram’ for agriculture in Thirukkural has been featured in the picture with the color variation of paddy variety ‘Chinnar’ (brown) and ‘Mysore Malli’ (green).
With the support of K. Vilvanathan of Arts College, Kumbakonam, the farmer drew an image of Thiruvalluvar on about half an acre of land. He then meticulously planted the paddy seedlings on the rows 65 days ago. Normally, it takes four to five hours to complete the paddy transplanting on half an acre. But, it took Elangovan five days to complete the task.
He had to work patiently to understand the seated posture of the holy poet, whose work has transcended borders for its universality and acceptance. The paddy crop is now in the dairy stage. From a bird’s eye view, it well reflects the image of Thiruvalluvar.
“Need to imitate”
“We, the company, urgently need to emulate Thiruvalluvar’s message on organic farming. There can be no personalities other than Thiruvalluvar to spread the message. Therefore, I chose his figure to publicize organic farming,” says Mr. Elangovan, who embraced eco-friendly farming about 10 years ago.
The land receives a steady stream of visitors from different parts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts. They spend time understanding the method in which the image was made. Mr. Elangovan does not shy away from the responsibility of explaining the artistic work to visitors.
Mr Elangovan, a follower of ‘Nel’ Jayaraman who fought for the preservation of traditional paddy varieties, said he would be happy if at least one farmer in every village in the state switched to organic farming after his initiative.