Eeco-friendly Technologies Enhanced Profits in Rice Production in Kuttanad
Kuttanad, the major rice grainary of Kerala is one of the few regions of the world that produces rice at below mean sea level. It forms a unique ecologically fragile bio-geographical unit that is located mostly in Alappuzha district. The vulnerability of the system is attributed to the problems of water logging and soil acidity along with climatic variations. Crop damage due to summer rains and floods during monsoon in the low-lying paddy fields called padashekharams are quite common. This uniqueness in bio-geography and associated social factors and institutions has earned it the status of a globally important agricultural heritage system (GIAHS) by FAO in 2013. The heritage status also strives for ecological restoration and sustainable development of the water-logged system which has come under increased stress due to the environmental pollution caused by indiscriminate use of high quantity of chemical fertilizers and plant protection chemicals. Use of high quantity of seeds, and high labour charges result in higher cost of cultivation leaving only marginal profit to paddy farmers.
To address these problems technology demonstrations were conducted by Krishi Vigyan Kendra - Alappuzha hosted by ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), in Muttar village of Veliyanad block under the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) for four successive crop seasons (only one crop possible in a year) from 2011-2015.