Kochi: The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), which created a national model for harnessing solar energy, on Friday forayed into organic farming and plans commercial sale of the own branded products in another few months through measures such as setting up vegetable sale outlets at airport premises.
“The first attempt at organic farming done in three-acres near cargo complex is a success and the reaping of the same was done today. We plan to extend the cultivation to the whole of the 45-acre land where the 12 Mega watt solar plant is set up, the first of its kind initiative. We’ve decided to go for modern agricultural practices besides seeking co-operation of leading agricultural research centres. The organic products will then be commercially marketed,” said V J Kurian, Managing Director.
The products including Ash gourd, Ladies Finger, Cucumber, Ridge gourd and snake gourd are being cultivated. We’ll implement drip irrigation for climbing plants requiring water on a daily basis. For others, water used to clean solar panels (over 46, 000) will be used. Growing of plants will also ensure the panels are dust free.
“The products will be initially sold through outlets set at the airports, however, we plan to make available the branded products in markets too at a later stage. The vegetable products reaped today were sold to the airport staff itself,” a senior official said.
The 12 MW solar plant was set up at the airport premises on August 18 last year. So far (upto March 4), 1.01 crore unit electricity was produced from the plant and the company saved nearly rupees seven core in terms of power expenditure....