The farmers of this `rice bowl’ will abandon the second crop of paddy cultivation due to the failure of monsoon this season.
The paddy cultivation in the district is mainly depended on the irrigation water as the largest number of dams such as Malampuzha, Mangalam, Pothundy, Chulliyar. Meenkara, Walayar and the Parambikulam group of inter-state water reservoirs are situated here.
The second crop cultivation starts in September. But almost all the dams except Mangalam are empty.
In the biggest irrigation dam of the State in Malampuzha that provides water for three months for second crop is currently having storage for just 18 days.
Pothundy Dam can provide water for just 23 days and Walayar for just one day only. The Meenkara and Chulliyar Dams have no water for releasing for paddy cultivation. Only Mangalam Dam can provide water for 40 days.
In this condition the farmers cannot take up the second crop of paddy cultivation, said Muthalamthode Mani, general secretary, Desheeya Karshaka Samajam.
He said that if the North West monsoon also failed in October-November there is no chance of even cultivating the short duration paddy crops.
But cultivating short duration paddy crops will not benefit farmers as the yield will be one third or even half of the long duration crops.
The long duration crops required water for 120 days and the short duration minimum 90 days.
The farmers get good yield in the second crop in Palakkad. So cultivating short duration crops as advised by the Agriculture Department due to the shortage of water will be a loss for farmers.
In this situation it is better to abandon second crop of paddy cultivation in the district, Mr. Mani said.