Pokkali Paddy Cultivation Protection Council has urged the government to implement in a time-bound manner the study report of the expert committee that recommended protection of pokkali paddy fields.

The 12-member expert committee chaired by Fisheries University vice-chancellor P. Madhusoodhana Kurup had made the suggestion in their study report.

A meeting of the Council held at Ezhupunna in the district on Friday was reacting to this suggestion.

The meeting noted that Pokkali paddy cultivation, which follows organic farming methods by not using fertilisers or insecticides, should be protected. Pokkali paddy fields which ran to more than 25,000 acres in the coastal areas in the districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur has come down to just 5,000 acres.

The Pokkali rice, which grows in the saline waters of the coastal areas with disease-resistant quality, has bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) status. Round-the-year aquaculture in Pokkali paddy fields over the last two decades have led to the decline in its cultivation.

The meeting presided over by council convener Francis Kalathungal stopping of aquaculture on pokkali farms by March 31 to stop intrusion of saline water.

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