Special Correspondent

KANNUR: An innovative method of rice cultivation that uses paper to control weeds is now being experimented as part of a field trial at Manathana in Peravur panchayat.

Raveendran Thodeekalam who tested the method in his own field for the past few years can now experiment it during the field trial at a paddy field of the Eco-friendly Self-Help Group at Manathana.

The trial is being done under the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) scheme. Agricultural scientists and officers are interested in the trial.

Mr. Thodeekalam, who is an agriculture officer at the Peravur Krishi Bhavan, has been doing the experiment of using paper to control weeds in his own field.

The field trial under ATMA has followed the finding that the experiment is effective in fighting weeds. When rice is grown under the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) which required the field to be fully drained of water, weeds grow high. He laid rolls of paper between the line of transplanted seedlings. Scientists found this innovation effective and cheaper.

The trial is being done on a 10-cent paddy field. While paper sheets are being used in 50 per cent of the area under cultivation, Mr. Thodeekalam is using polythene sheets in the remaining half.