Young Keralite Ibrahim Shafeel has transformed patches of the arid Virudhunagar district into little oases of greenery replete with native vegetables and exotic Arabian date palms
The ochre soil glows a fiery red in the bright morning sun and rows of palm trees cast skimpy shadows on the barren landscape. Dry ponds, vast expanse of seemai karuvelam thickets, parched earth and a hot dusty storm greet us as we enter the interiors of the drought-prone Virudhunagar District. And in the middle of the arid region is the Veerachozhan village where an organic farm is surprisingly/ green and lush. In contrast to the sepia-toned surroundings, the facade of the farm is lined with leafy murungai trees and behind it is a neatly laid tract of inter-crops like ladies finger, brinjal, spinach, tomatoes and pulses. Flocks of country chicken wander around, pecking at insects on crop shoots and a herd of buffaloes graze quietly in a corner.