Kochi

Pokkali farms turn battlefield

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Pokkali Samrakshana Samithi, a group of activists working to revive pokkali rice cultivation came out against what they alleged was a move to sabotage the traditional cycle of rice and shrimp farming practices in pokkali fields.

Minister for Fisheries K. Babu has said that a decision on the future of rice and shrimp farming in pokkali fields in the State will be taken only in consultation with stakeholders. The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of a convention of shrimp farmers under the aegis of the District Committee of Kerala Aqua Farmers’ Federation here on Saturday, said a statement issued by the Federation.

However, Pokkali Samrakshana Samithi, a group of activists working to revive pokkali rice cultivation came out against what they alleged was a move to sabotage the traditional cycle of rice and shrimp farming practices in pokkali fields.

A statement issued by the Samithi here alleged that the government order extending the yearly period for shrimp farming in pokkali fields to April 30 was the death knell for rice cultivation in the fields. The statement said an experts’ committee had recommended that the time for shrimp cultivation in the pokkali fields be curtailed to April 15 every year, giving sufficient time for preparation of the fields for rice cultivation.

The committee, headed by B. Madhusoodana Kurup, vice-chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, had noted that pokkali and kole fields were ecologically fragile and unique wetland eco-systems, which had shrunk in acreage from about 24,000 hectares two decades ago to about 5,000 hectares due to continuous human intervention.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:46:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pokkali-farms-turn-battlefield/article6230315.ece

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