Navara Eco Farm (NEF) is situated on the banks of river “Shokanashini” (destroyer of sorrows) at Chittur, Palakkad District, Kerala, India. NEF is a family run farm which is more than hundred years old. P. Narayanan Unny of the third generation runs the farm now. Unny’s father Shri M.Ramachandra Menon (MRC Menon) managed the farm for sixty years of his life and developed the farm. Shri. M. Kelukutty Menon, elder brother of Shri. MRC Menon, was one of the first Rice Specialists at Rice Research Station, Pattambi. This combination of an elder brother Rice Specialist (Agriculture Scientist) and younger brother, a keen practicing farmer helped in developing the farm systematically.
After taking over the farm in 1995, Unny made a long term plan focusing on specialty rice varieties, converting the farm into an integrated one, adopting organic farming methods, addressing biodiversity, ecology, environmental and conservation issues.
The entire farm and its products are certified organic from year 2007, the farm has taken leadership in forming rice clusters for Navara and Palakkadan Matta varieties of rice and registering these varieties as Geographical Indication. Navara and Palakkadan matta were the first agricultural products in India to be registered as Geographical Indication through farmer led initiatives. Unny was conferred the “Plant Genome Savior Community Recognition Award” by Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Right Authority (PPV&FRA), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for efforts taken to conserve Navara.
Many scientific studies in Navara have been done with Navara products from NEF. Regional Research Lab(National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST)), Kerala Agricultural University, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology are among the institutions which have done chemical analysis of UNF Navara Rice. Department of Botany, Govt. Victoria College, Palakkad and Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment have jointly conducted a study on “Medicinal rices land races, Kerala” in a fifteen cent plot at NEF. Many scientists, students, authorities of various government departments and agencies visit NEF.People behind the Farm