Standing crops damaged, says Pokkali Samithy

The Pokkali Samrakshana Samithy has alleged that despite assurances given to the Kerala High Court to drain water from the Maruvakkad pokkali rice fields, the water level has risen damaging standing crops. In a statement issued by the Samithy, which is working to preserve the traditional rice cultivation in the coastal areas of the State, said that rice plants, about five weeks old, had been damaged due to the high water level.

There are around 420 acres of pokkali rice fields that need to be protected from high saline water levels. However, the outer bund that should protect the fields from saline water incursion has not been strengthened, the samithy alleged in a statement here. The samithy said that this year’s pokkali rice cultivation operations started in early September only and it will take about 120 days for the harvest. During this period, the rice fields will have to be protected against saline water intrusion up to December.

A memorandum sent to the District Collector alleged that there was a move to sabotage the pokkali rice cultivation by those interested only in the shrimp aquaculture.

Francis Kalathungal of the Pokkali Samrakshana Samithy said that the aquaculture lobby was constantly trying to sabotage the cultivation cycle and trying to corner the fields for fish and shrimp culture throughout the year.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 12:59:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/standing-crops-damaged-says-pokkali-samithy/article36558447.ece

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