Decision will facilitate use of combine harvesters
ALAPPUZHA: In an effort to avoid paddy crop from being lost due to delay in harvesting, the government has decided to limit the number of days that labourers can work on a single padasekharam (polder). The decision will enable the use of combine harvester machines .
At a press conference here on Saturday, Coir and Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran said a labourer would not be allowed to harvest for more than five days on a single padasekharam.
One day will be earmarked for threshing. The remaining crop would be reaped and threshed using combine harvester machines.
The Minister held a meeting with labour union representatives and padasekharam representatives in the presence of District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan, Principal Agriculture Officer P.S. Soman and district panchayat president R. Nazar here after labourers prevented harvesting machines in a padasekharam in Kuttanad.
Mr. Sudhakaran said the decision was to ensure that the concerted effort of the government to ensure better paddy production yielded result.
It would also prevent certain unions from forcibly taking over harvest of an entire padasekharam and then throwing up their hands when they could not complete the harvest in time.
On the incident where labourers stopped the use of combine harvester machine in the Ezhukadu padasekharam in Champakulam panchayat, Mr. Sudhakaran said the issue had cropped up when farmers violated an agreement signed earlier with labour unions and brought four machines.
According to the agreement only two machines were to be used and the rest of the field was to be harvested by labourers.
However, certain sections of the media and a small section of “impractical” padasekharam committee members, propelled by “misinformation”, were trying to blow the issue out of proportion to sabotage the government’s efforts to tackle the agrarian crisis in the State, he said.
The meeting also decided to set November 15 as the last date for labourers to register themselves at the respective Krishi Bhavans for harvesting works in padasekharams. Agriculture Development Council would be set up in each panchayat to overview the harvesting works and settle disputes, if any.
It will be headed by the respective Agriculture Officer, and the panchayat president will part of the council.
Padasekharam committees would have to discuss the availability of labourers with local labour unions and make practical arrangements for combine harvesters to reap the remaining crop, the Minister said.