A Correspondent

Cultivable fallow land to be identified

Agriculture officers to submit data on August 12

Part of State’s plan to double rice production

Kalpetta: To revive fallow paddy fields and increase production of rice in the district, a comprehensive plan will be implemented by the district panchayat in association with the Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) Centre zone, Pattambi, and Krishi Vijnana Kendra (KVK), Ambalavayal.

A blue print of the plan was ready, district panchayat president C.M. Sarasamma said here after a meeting with agricultural scientists here on Thursday.

The programme will be implemented in the district as part of the State’s plan to double rice production. P.V. Balachandran, a scientist with the RARS, will be the nodal officer for this project.

As part of the scheme, agricultural officers will collect details of barren land in the district and of paddy fields in which other crops are cultivated. Data on land suitable for paddy cultivation will be presented at a meeting of the authorities on August 12.

The programme would be implemented by the cooperation of local bodies, Ms. Sarasamma added.

Value-added production of agricultural commodities too will be stressed upon.

Marketing, a problem

The meeting evaluated that marketing of rice posed a major problem for farmers in the district.

If the Civil Supplies Corporation could not procure the whole lot, alternative measures would be made through cooperative sector to procure rice.

Shrinking fields

The district now has less than 11,000 hectares of paddy field as against 30,000 hectares in this district in 1970, it was mentioned at the meeting.

District development standing committee chairman George Pothan and scientists P.V. Balachandran, V.S. Devadas and R. Radhamma Pillai participated .