Kerala

Good paddy harvest at abandoned site

Scenes of the harvesting ceremony held at the Muppayikkad - Poozhikkunnu paddy polders in Kodimatha on Thursday.

Scenes of the harvesting ceremony held at the Muppayikkad - Poozhikkunnu paddy polders in Kodimatha on Thursday.  

Success for farmers collective at Muppayikkad-Poozhikkunnu fields at Kodimatha in Kottayam

There is no better way to counter mindless urbanisation of farmlands than keeping it under plough and reaping rich benefits.

This is exactly what the flagship environmental movement of Kottayam has now shown to the world.

About three months after they adopted the 127-acre Muppayikkad - Poozhikkunnu paddy polders in Kodimatha in the heart of the Kottayam town, the harvesting of the first crop from the field was carried out amidst a festive atmosphere.

Lying fallow

The property, once proposed as the venue of the now abandoned Kottayam Mobility Hub project, had been lying fallow for 27 years and was entrusted to a collective of 35 farmers in February this year.

The initiative, which formed part of the Meenachil – Meenanthara- Kodoor river re-linking programme, has proved to be a success.

According to the organisers, the harvest was the successful culmination of more than two-year long effort to restore paddy cultivation in the region.

“Restoring farming in the area, which once served as a water harvesting ground for the whole Kottayam town, is crucial in reviving the water resources and maintaining the ground water-table,” said K. Anil Kumar, coordinator, River re-linking programme.

He attributed the success of the programme to the joint efforts put up by the various government departments such as Agriculture, Irrigation, KSEB and Kottayam municipality.

The restoration of the polder network took off after the present Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, in an order issued last year, reversed a decision by the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government to reclaim the paddy fields for the project.

The proposed mobility hub, which comprises a bus terminal complex, convention centre, exhibition centre, and a cricket stadium, came under a cloud following grave concerns of it violating provisions of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008.

Inaugurated

Earlier in the day, Mr. Anil Kumar inaugurated a meeting of the farmers and local residents at the location. Local councillor Sheeja Anil presided over the meeting.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 8:50:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/good-paddy-harvest-at-abandoned-site/article27153473.ece

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