Central Travancore district of Pathanamthitta that houses the rice bowl of Upper Kuttanad have posted a record paddy production of 18,088 tonne from a total area of 3784 ha in 2008-’09.

According to Agriculture department sources, revival of 1460 ha of fallow land during 2008-09 has led to an

increased production of 9391 tonnes.

Official sources said the average paddy productivity has been increased to 4.78 tonne per hectare, which was only 3.74 tonne till 2007-’08.

It is noteworthy that the productivity in the 1460 ha of paddy fallows in the district alone has been recorded at 6.43 tonne per hectare which was much higher than its national average.

Dr Jose Joseph, Joint Director of Agriculture, and Dr P.C.Robert, programme co-ordinator of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) said popularisation of the Integrated Crop Management (ICM) technology, Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Weed Management (IWM) technology, Bio-Intensive Pest and Disease Management in not less than 150 acres was a successful venture with an average productivity of 6.5

tonnes per ha in the project areas of Peringara, Kuttoor and Pandalam-Thekkekkara panchayats.

Paddy procurement

The paddy procurement by the Civil Supplies Corporation too have shown an increase of 245 per cent in 2008-’09. The corporation has procured a total of 5199 tonne paddy from the district at the rate of Rs 11 per

kg during the period. This was against the procurement of 1500 tonne paddy at the rate of nine rupee per kg in the previous year.

According to Dr Robert, Integrated Crop Management in paddy cultivation has been proved to be the most compatible rice cultivation technology for transplanted areas in the district. The technology was

introduced as a joint venture of the Agriculture department and KVK.

He said emphasis should be given for reducing the cost of paddy production, which is now estimated at Rs 35,000 per hectare. Partial mechanization, coupled with skill upgradation, has to be strengthened

for sustainable rice cultivation in the State, he added.

Dr Joseph said the department is planning to launch cultivation in another 950 ha of fallow land under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) this year.

The successful revival of paddy fallows in the district is a unique outcome of technological integration, convergence of the activities of various departments, technology providers like KVK and Kerala

Agriculture University, padasekara samithies and farmers in the district.

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