Thursday was a special day for officers and staff of the Department of Agriculture in Mulanthuruthy panchayat. It may have been a coincidence that as the world celebrated Women's Day, officers of the department, most of them women, harvested paddy from an experimental venture they launched nearly four months ago.

“Our effort is to make an example of it,” said agricultural officer Rose Mary, at whose initiative an acre was leased from farmers in the panchayat for the experimental cultivation.

The yield has been good too, said the officers, who expect about two tonnes of paddy. One of the key features of the paddy cultivation effort was that no pesticides were used. The harvesting of the paddy was inaugurated by deputy directors Neena M.M. and Neena Raphael.

K.A. Martin