Sri. P.J. Manual is a traditional farmer conserver. He conserves 50 species of traditional tuber varieties including its wild relatives. He possess the ITK (Indigenous Technical Knowledge) associated with each and every tubers in his farm especially one with the medicinal values. Sri. Manual observes the characteristics of the tubers and its morphological changes season by season. He is one among the prominent resource persons for tubers, in Wayanad district.
Tubers have been cultivated through ‘open field system’ and followed organic farming methods for cultivation. He has applied the ITK in cultivation as well as the protection the tubers from pest attack.
Some of the aforesaid ITK pertinent to the pest control are:
1) Application of water for the attack of ‘white mealy bug’: The water will be sprayed in heavy pressure on the affected part to eradicate the bug.
2) Fumigation: The aromatic pest repellent plant is heated on a bell metal plate and fumigate the surroundings. It drives the pest away with its aroma, as the odour act as an irritant.
3) Organic repellent with slurry: The fresh cow dung slurry has sprayed with ‘jaggery’ mixture on the plant.
He augments a scared grove in his farm to provide a shelter for birds and small animals. He distributes seed/seedlings to neighbours and general public for free of cost for the conservation and propagation.
Other crops which he cultivates are coffee, pepper, banana and turmeric. The traditional varieties like ‘Thekkan, Wayanadan kodi and Kalluvalli’ are of his preference in pepper. He also conserves 20 varieties of turmeric (both traditional and cross breed). Sri. Manual states that these varieties have high resistance to pest and have adaptation ability to climate change. In coffee cultivation he has chosen the variety Robesta.
Manual suggested to analyse the faming methods, acquire the knowledge and create a fine module from the right analysis and experience.
Karimchembu’ (Colocasia esculenta)