“It was our first large-scale project,” says Manoj M Nair, founding father of My Kaad, which matches by the tagline ‘For rest, For us’. The enterprise promotes “sustainable farming model for survival” by offering steering and help to start out vegetable and fruit cultivation. “It will be a landscaped garden with ample space for the family to unwind. Also, depending on the area available and interest of the clients, we integrate aquaponics (growing fish), poultry and livestock. Rainwater harvesting, proper waste management and use of solar energy can also be incorporated in the model,” says the businessman primarily based in Kollam in Kerala.
Manoj’s inspiration for such a enterprise has been his pal and scriptwriter Sajeev Pazhoor, who efficiently applied built-in farming on the rooftop of his dwelling at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram district. Although Sajeev’s home stands on simply three cents of land, he grows a number of greens by means of aquaponics and hydroponics (soil-less farming). “I have been into farming for the last 14 years. My garden has grapes and shallots as well. We have a rainwater harvesting system and biogas plant as well. A video of my farm inspired Joju to follow the model and My Kaad team stepped in to help him,” says Sajeev, “a mentor” of My Kaad.
The core group of My Kaad has 5 engineering graduates – Jewel Babu, Vishnu VKT, Vishnu Babu, Sandeep MM and Sreejith T. “The five engineers had come to do the artwork in one of my bakeries when they were in their final year of engineering. I later set up a business enterprise for them and when I mooted the idea of My Kaad, they were happy to be a part of it,” says Manoj, including that it’s word-of-mouth publicity that has helped My Kaad develop as they don’t have any social media web page.
“The pandemic and the resultant lockdown have made many think about the need to be self-sufficient in food, especially pesticide-free farm produce. So, earlier, if it was difficult to convince people about the importance of consuming home-grown produce, the situation is different now,” he says.
However, the group doesn’t entertain all shoppers. Sajeev says the particular person ought to have a ardour for farming and be keen to speculate sufficient time to handle the vegetation. “We go ahead only if the land is suitable to start any form of cultivation,” he says.
The number of crops that may be planted depends upon the requirement of the shopper. Saplings, [organic] manure, develop baggage and gardening instruments/equipment, if vital, are offered by My Kaad, together with pointers about caring for every sort of plant.
The group began the enterprise by designing vegetable gardens at their own properties and later at their associates’ homes. Harish S, advertising and marketing head with an insurance coverage agency in Kollam district, is one in all them. “Although we’ve had a kitchen garden, that was more like a wild growth. Pest attack was a problem. But the lockdown has changed our outlook towards farming and now we follow the instructions given by My Kaad. My 12-year-old daughter waters the plants and inspects the saplings in the mornings and evenings,” Harish says.
Meanwhile, Joju’s farm has impressed extra actors to comply with swimsuit. Two main actors have already contacted the group. “We are not ambitious about having a State-wide network. What matters is that we are inspiring people to have their own green space and grow their own food,” Manoj says.