Kerala

Paddy harvest begins in Kuttanad

District Collector M. Anjana inaugurating the harvest of the puncha crop at Chithira Kayal on Friday.

District Collector M. Anjana inaugurating the harvest of the puncha crop at Chithira Kayal on Friday.  

Farmers worried over shortage of combined harvesters in district

The harvest of the ‘puncha’ crop (first crop) has begun in Kuttanad.

A 190-hectare paddy field in Chithira Kayal was the first to go under the harvester on Friday. It was inaugurated by District Collector M. Anjana. The Valiya Pattathanam paddy field in Edathua will be the next, on February 23.

From March

According to officials, large-scale paddy harvest will commence from March. Earlier, sowing was delayed in several areas due to rain and shortage of seeds.

Although the harvesting has started, farmers are worried over the shortage of combined harvesters in the district. The government has announced that the procurement price will be given to farmers within a week. However, not many farmers are ready to take the promise at face value. For, several farmers are yet to receive the price for their second crop in 2019.

According to the Agriculture Department, the farmers have undertaken paddy farming in more than 27,500 hectares in the district, a major portion of which is in Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala.

In the previous puncha crop season (2018-19), the farmers cultivated paddy in around 31,000 hectares. Supplyco had procured 1.93 lakh tonnes of paddy worth ₹490.57 crore from 34,662 farmers in Alappuzha in the last season. However, the farmers suffered huge losses in the second crop season due to torrential downpour and widespread bund breaches in Kuttanad.

Senior paddy marketing officer A.V. Suresh Kumar said 34,000 farmers in the district had so far registered online with the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) for selling their produce this season. Supplyco has extended the deadline for online registration to February 25. They were expecting another bumper crop this season.

Procurement price

The procurement price offered this season is ₹26.95 a kg. This includes the minimum support price of ₹18.15 and the State incentive bonus of ₹8.80.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:10:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/paddy-harvest-begins-in-kuttanad/article30883368.ece

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