K.R. Vancheeswaran, 57, or simply Vanchy as everyone calls him here, wakes up to the sweet call of the Malabar whistling thrush every morning. Soon, as the sun melts the enveloping morning mist, his 45-acre coffee plantation in the picturesque Thrikkaipetta village in Wayanad is filled with myriad bird calls—the dramatic Racket-Tail Drongo, the busy family of weaver birds in the areca nut cluster, the iridescent orioles and minivets. The plantation slopes down to the rice-milk-laden paddy fields, where lapwings and egrets traipse. “To make plantation sustainable we have multiple farming.
Along with coffee, we grow pepper, cinnamon, cloves, areca nut, bananas, vegetables. This also contributes to the bio-diversity of the surrounding forest, which reduces human-animal conflicts,” Vanchy says.