Home » Engineering Education » Engineering an Organic Idea : Students at the Guindy Engineering College (GEC) have set up an organic farm on their campus

Engineering an Organic Idea : Students at the Guindy Engineering College (GEC) have set up an organic farm on their campus

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The New Indian Express |  Express News Service | 17th August 2015 | CHENNAI |

Students of Guindy Engineering College working on the farm on their campus | P RAVIKUMAR

CHENNAI: In a move that can prove to be an example for college hostels across the city and elsewhere, students at the Guindy Engineering College (GEC) have set up an organic farm on their campus, which converts the food waste generated in the hostel into manure. This initiative is in co-ordination with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), a cell at the university which promotes business skills in students. Around 175 students showed interest to become organic farmers and 44 of them have been selected as core committee members after a round of awareness lectures on the campus. Interestingly, the vegetables grown on this organic farm will be supplied to the hostel canteen based on requirement, students said. They will be assisted by the members of the Green Brigade Club, a society at the college which is involved in spreading green activities. With more than 4,500 students staying in the hostel, plans are being made to use the food waste as input to the bio gas plant and vermicompost pits to create organic fertilizers for the farm land. The enrolled students would have to report to the farm every day at 6 am and work for an hour before their regular classes begin. They would also have to report for a half-an-hour session in the evening after classes. Students said that at present, they were into production of greens and would soon expand to vegetable (tomatoes and brinjals) production and provide them to college canteens, the hostel mess and residences of faculty members.

K Moorthi, a final year student of Manufacturing Engineering and president of the student group, said that interested students had visited several farmers and organic farming experts across several Southern districts including Kanyakumari and Madurai, to get an idea about the status and quality of farming in the last year. “In an attempt to clean up the mess created by poisonous chemicals and pesticides we started this initiative and even if the production is low we hope that we can take this message to all the other colleges,” he added.  The Centre for Water Resources had allocated one acre of land within the campus for the project. The university has also allocated funds, with alumni and film star Raghava Lawrence chipping in as well. The venture was inaugurated on Independence Day. Director of CED G Ravikumar said that the motive behind this venture was that the students should understand organic farming concepts by practising it, to create more entrepreneurs in this field and take it to the next level with an interdisciplinary approach. Agricultural and organic farming experts, including S Sundarapandiyan and Sattai Aniya Samiappan, are mentoring the students’ initiative. – Courtesy


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