The sickles will be out atop Kozhippalkunnu in Wayanad on Thursday to reap the rich paddy harvest.
Twenty members of the Harita Farmers' Club at Peechamkode expect 70 quintals of rice from the 10-hectare hilltop land in the village, near Vellamunda, recording success in reviving upland paddy cultivation. They say a collective attempt of farmers and timely intervention of the authorities can tame the barren hills to produce rice.
They have grown the Uma variety on the watershed project area of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.
K.C. Kunhiraman, MLA, will inaugurate the harvest festival at 10 a.m.
The result of our maiden attempt is satisfactory, M.D. Antony, president of the club, said. “Use of chemical fertilisers was low and we did not apply pesticides,” he said.
The expenses came to Rs.2 lakh. The Agriculture Department gave the seeds free and provided Rs.5,000 a hectare as assistance.
The Vellamunda grama panchayat deployed 350 women workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for weeding the cultivated land.
Paddy transplantation is not needed in upland paddy cultivation, saving a huge sum, Mr. Antony said.