Popularly known as “Ramettan”, Palliyara Raman is from Kaniyambetta, a hilly place in wayanad district. He is the organiser of ‘Kurichya community’. Being a well known traditional farmer in wayanad he is renowned for organic farming. Ramettan maintains agriculture and conservation with same interest. He owns 2 acres of wetland and 2 acres of upland. His educational qualification is S.S.L.C in the year 1964 and the foremost person to pass the examination among the Kurichya tribe.
The main crop of interest on agricultural and conservation front is rice and he cultivates its diverse varieties mostly the traditional varieties as ‘Mullankaima, Chenellu, Jeerakasala, Gandhakasala, Thondi, Kaima, Navara and Velliyan’. The hybrid varieties such as ‘Uma’ and ‘Athira’ are also being cultivated. He stated that ‘Chenellu (rice)’ is highly nutritious among the traditional rice varieties that he conserves. It has been cultivated cheifly for rituals, feast, consumption and to meet the financial need. Besides, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) , Neem (Azadirachta indica) and Devil tree (Alstonia scholaris) have been preserved for specific rituals.
He conserves traditional varieties such as Air potato (Dioscorea hamiltonii), Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), Elephant foot yam (Amorphallus companulatus), Taro (Colocasia esculanta) and Five leaf yam (Dioscorea pentaphylla). The prominent varieties are ‘air potato’ and ‘sweet potato’ for it’s high source of fiber and starch. Banana, coffee and pepper are the other crop varities he preserves. The pepper ‘Kalluvalli’ is a traditional variety that he conserves.
He protects diverse organism on field, which includes prey and predator. The predators comprise frog, earthworm, crab and fishes. He mentioned that the ‘crabs are natural conserver of water’ as it can improve ground water bodies. A crab cave can hold upto 3 litres of water.
Since the chemical fertilizer has not been used, there are lot of rats. A natural control system has used in the field to prevent it by providing a space for the owl with the coconut husk. Hence in his field the owls are abundant subsequently avert the rat population to a greater extend.
For tillage operations chiefly cattle is being used. Bio-pesticides like ‘Jeevamritham’, ‘Beejamritham’ to controlling the pest in the paddy field and to maintain the fertility of the soil is another method adopted by the conserver. He follows cultural mechanisms to prevent the flying pest to reach the field through the cultivation of pineapple and placement of ‘specific fire balls’ in the field.
He practices agriculture and conservation with the prominent support of his family and with their active involvement.
‘Ramettan’ suggests the young generation to protect farmers and farming for the food sustainability.