Farmers 'gingerly' revert to paddy

Farmers 'gingerly' revert to paddy

Lush greenery

feast to the eyes Green paddy fields at Bittangala near Gonikoppa, Kodagu district. DH PHOTO

There was a fear two years ago that paddy cultivation, considered the traditional crop of region, was in danger with the advent of ginger from Kerala. Farmers switched over to ginger as profits in paddy dwindled and there was shortage of labourers, since paddy needs a lot of human help before it brings rich returns.

As a result, there was no trace of paddy in the fields during the last two years as farmers had a feeling that ginger would earn them a better profit and was also known as low-maintenance crop, as against paddy.

Environmentalists launched a movement last year pleading with the farmers to revert to paddy as ginger was affecting the natural fertility of fields.

But, with the fall in price of ginger and loss of crop due to climatic extremities, farmers voluntarily resumed paddy cultivation this year.

Despite non-availability of labourers, farmers have cultivated paddy with the help of modern equipments. Following good monsoon and hard work of farmers, paddy crop has grown well and it is flowering season now. The sweet smell of the flowers, bees and birds buzzing around is a feast to the eyes. The rainfall last week has refreshed the environment.

Farmers hope paddy would be ready for harvest in December for Huthari, the harvest festival in the district, when they bring new rice home for traditional pooja.

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