By PRITHIV RAJ A
TIRUVALLUR: The State-run horticulture farm at Ikkadu Kandigai has been a reliable source of income for 30 families in Punnapakkam at Ellapuram Block, Tiruvallur district, after many residents lost their livelihoods during the pandemic.
Several measures were taken to form a horticulture farm by the Department of Horticulture and Plantation Crops. It expands over 9 acres and is equipped with all the farming facilities.
Jebaraj, a worker at the farm, says, “I lost my job during the first wave of COVID. My family and I were dependent on the provisions given by the government. When my neighbour told me that the horticulture farm was recruiting, I joined there immediately. Now, I am earning Rs 350 per day and also getting one day leave.”
Since many lost the sole breadwinner of the family, this farm offered a ray of hope. V Sasi Kumar, another worker, said that after he lost his father, he was looking for a job to take care of his mother.
“We were already undergoing a financial crunch when my father passed away. I joined the State horticulture farm near our village 2 years back. It has helped me to run my family by just growing vegetables like brinjal, drumstick, ladies finger etc. We give the yield to farmers based on subsidies,” says Sasi.
The farm has also helped farmers in the neighbouring areas such as Chozhavaram, Madhavaram and Poonamallee. People from Andhra and Uthukkottai are also visit the farm to purchase ornamental plants.