Engineering dropout to organic farmer growing 300+ native veggies

Apart from growing chemical-free food, he also created a seed bank named Aadhiyagai (which means first blooming in Tamil), with more than 300 native vegetable and fruit seeds.

In the village of Kuttiyagoundanpudur, close to the arid region of Oddanchatram in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, lies Aadhiyagai Parameswaran’s six-acre farm.

The area lacks a perennial source of water to keep crops well-fed, but 29-year-old aeronautical engineer-turned-farmer, Parameswaran is confident his farm will thrive. His crops can withstand severe drought conditions because they are native to this arid region.

Born in a family of farmers, he grew up watching his parents toil on leased dryland. Although he was studying engineering, his love for the soil surpassed his will to graduate.

“Undoubtedly, a combination of genes, environment, and passion made me discontinue engineering in my fourth year to become a full-time organic farmer in my village.”