Shri Abraham Mathew (56 years), is a farmer educated up to the Intermediate level. He won the prestigious Kerala Kesari award from the Government of Kerala in 1995 as the Best Farmer. Besides this, he has been awarded by NABARD as the best Model Farmer in the state and with KAMADA Karshaka award. He has received appreciation from several other organizations including All India Radio, Calicut. He has developed a new variety of Nutmeg.
The new `jaiphal' (nutmeg - Myristica fragrans) variety is the result of systematic selection from the seedlings planted at Kallanode in 1971 from a collection of seeds. This collection had come from a nursery that developed nutmeg seeds originally introduced from Sri Lanka in 1946. Indian Institute of Spice Research (IISR), Calicut studied this variety in detail and has certified its superiority.
The new variety developed has large fruits. Compared to 150 dried nuts per kg of local varieties, the number in this variety is 90 dried nuts per kg. More importantly, the quality of japatri or mace (dried fibrous aril, covering the testa of the fruit) is much better. Weight of 1000 filaments of mace is between 3.5 kg and 4 kg, almost four times that of conventional varieties. Further, since the tree is a dwarf type, farmers can grow 100 nutmeg trees along with 100 coconut palms in half an acre (0.2 ha) plantation area.