The Fisheries Department’s pilot project to revive traditional brackish water paddy-shrimp farming system in an extent of total 90 hectares of ‘kaipad’ land in Kasaragod, Kannur and Kozhikode districts has now reached the harvest stage.

Fisheries Minister K. Babu inaugurated the first harvest of shrimps cultivated as part of the project at a function here on Tuesday. The Minister collected the harvested shrimps and inaugurated the first sale.

Though 90 ha of kaipad land in the three districts had been identified for revival of the paddy-shrimp farming system, the project implemented was extended to total 108 ha. The Fisheries Department officials said that the traditional rice-shrimp system could be revived in 1,200 ha of kaipad land in the district including the Kattampally basin. Shrimp growing would be an additional incentive to paddy cultivators, they noted. The project being implemented under the aegis of the Agency for development of Aquaculture, Kerala (ADAK) through self-help groups (SHGs) envisaged revival of the kaipad lands (brackish water areas) in the three districts. As many as 16 SHGs of beneficiaries have been formed, including 10 in Kannur and three each in Kasaragod and Kozhikode. Land has been made available to the groups on lease for a period of not less than five years. The project for promotion of rice-cum-shrimp in kaipad lands covered brackish water areas in Mogral-Puthur, Kumbala and Manjeswaram panchayats in Kasaragod, Ezhome, Taliparamba municipality, Puzhathi and Mundery panchayats in Kannur and Atholi and Ullyeri panchayats in Kozhikode.

The traditional kaipad farming system is a rotational as well as simultaneous farming of paddy and shrimps. During monsoon, when the salinity is very low, a crop of paddy is cultivated, and shrimps are grown during the rest of the year.

The system involved the traditional capture-based aquaculture known as shrimp filteration.

K. Shaji, MLA, presided over the function. K. Sudhakaran, MP, disbursed the second instalment of the subsidy for the beneficiary farmer groups. District panchayat president K.A. Sarala and ADAK Executive Director K. Anitha were present.

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