Bumper Harvest in Kerala
According to the calculation of the Agriculture Ministry of Kerala, the state has witnessed about 75,000 tons more rice production this year as compared to last year. There has also been a significant increase in the crop storage in the state government depot.
According to Kerala Economics and Statistics Department's primary evaluation, the area of land used for paddy cultivation increased during the post-flood era. Thottara Puncha in Ernakulam district was a fallow land for the last twenty five years, because of bad irrigation facilities with respect to its geography. With the combined effort of the local self-government, farmers and the state government to develop better irrigation facilities by connecting it with Muvattupuzha Yaru, this time it produced paddy in 700 acres of land. Overall, there is a huge increase in land under paddy cultivation when compared to last year. According to the department's statistics in the year 2017-18, the area of land which is used for paddy cultivation was 1,89,086 lakh hectares, and in 2018-19 it increased to 2,02,985. The state government dreams to increase the state's farmland up to 3 lakh hectares in 2021.
There is also rapid increase of production in districts other than Alappuzha (which include Kuttanad and upper Kuttanad) like Thrissur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Palakkad.
Agricultural scientists are saying that the silt dumped into the fields during the time of flood, increased the fertility of the soil, and the acidity of the soil decreased. Also the decomposed paddy which was destroyed during the period also became organic manure, leading to increased production.
Kerala's agricultural field is in a recovery period. Massive production of rice in flood affected lands after a year is big relief to the farmers, who faced serious crisis during the period.
A total loss of 2.37 lakh hectares of cultivated land was estimated during the flood, which mainly include lands producing paddy. During the first few months after flood, the state also witnessed drought.
In the rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad, which was one of the most affected regions during the floods, around 40,000 paddy cultivators witnessed massive production. It produced 1,57,000 tons of rice. The biggest harvest of its recent history is a big relief to the farmers of Kuttanad as many of them were facing huge debts. The extension of moratorium upto December 31 is also a consolation to the farmers.
In the last state budget, the state government announced Rs 2,500 crore for the agricultural sector. Of which Rs 1,000 crore is reserved for local government institutions to carry out various schemes related to agriculture.
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