Kochi

Pokkali field preparations make good progress in Chellanam

Pokkali rice fields being prepared for sowing in Chellanam panchayat.- Photo: Special Arrangement

Pokkali rice fields being prepared for sowing in Chellanam panchayat.- Photo: Special Arrangement  

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Deficit monsoon have not dampened the farmers’ enthusiasm as rains in May helped flood the fields and reduce salinity

Preparations for pokkali rice cultivation in Chellanam panchayat have made good progress with about 1,200 acres having been drained of saltwater. “Of the 13 rice paddy collectives in South Chellanam, 12 have already been drained,” said a farmer on Saturday.

He said pokkali rice was making a comeback when compared to the situation last year when due to weather conditions and late flooding most of the sown area was lost.

Fears of a deficit monsoon have not hindered the farmers’ enthusiasm as rains in May had helped flood the fields reducing salinity to some extent.

Pokkali rice cultivation has been made possible with the intervention of the district administration, which had issued orders to ensure that the traditional ‘one fish, one rice’ cycle was strictly followed. The administration had also said that benefits from various departments such as the Fisheries would not be extended to those who continued with shrimp farming during the rice season.

The farmers do not foresee any shortage of seeds. Vyttila-6, a dwarf variety with a maturity period of 120 days and an average yield of five tonnes per hectare, is being made available now.

Meanwhile, pokkali farmers have complained of rising cost of cultivation. K.A. Thomas, a farmer from Kadamakkudy, said pokkali cultivation now costs about Rs. 33,000 per acre. However, the income from the yield would be about Rs. 15,000 given the current rice procurement rate fixed by the State government.

He said procurement price for pokkali must be raised to about Rs. 50 a kg to ensure that the pokkali operations were remunerative for the farmers.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 8:07:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pokkali-field-preparations-make-good-progress-in-chellanam/article7293432.ece

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