Pokkali farmers in Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts have appealed to their respective district administrations to ensure that paddy sowing in coastal fields began on time despite a recent notification extending time for shrimp farming till April 30.

An extraordinary Gazette notification earlier this year fixed the period for shrimp farming in pokkali fields between November 15 and April 30 and has widely been questioned by those working to protect the traditional paddy cultivation in semi-saline waters in the coastal districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur.

E. D. Joseph, a farmer in Kadamakkudy, who is also the secretary of the Ponmani Padashekharam, said farmers like him were eager about the coming season but pointed out that they were handicapped by shortage of seeds. .

A meeting of Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union (KSKTU) here on Tuesday alleged that there was a move to continue with shrimp farming in pokkali fields. The meeting warned that if shrimp farming was carried out throughout the year pokkali cultivation would be totally lost.

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