Rice production in Kerala
Paddy cultivation was part of the proud culture of Kerala State .Rice is the most important cereal and staple food produced and consumed in Kerala.In Kerala you can see vast green paddy fields.Kuttanad is called as rice bowl of Kerala because of rice cultivation.Trichur and Palghat are the other two places in Kerala where large scale cultivation is done.
According to the State Planning Board, Kerala lost over 500,000 hectares of paddy fields between 1980 and 2007. But due to serious intervention of Kerala government in the year 2010 , 15000 hectors of land kept fallow for 2-5 decades brought under cultivation ,paddy production increased by 1.25 lakh tones ,upland paddy cultivation started in another 1000 hectors.Kerala government has implemented novel schemes under food security programme for special rice production areas like Kole,Pokkali,Kuttanadu,Onattukara,Purakkad kari,kattampalli,Palakkad etc.
In the earlier days rice used to be cultivated almost in all parts of Kerala in three seasons .They were Mundakan ,Viruppu and puncha .
In the present scenario it is difficult to do rice cultivation in the state due to high labour cost and shortage of labour Mechanised transplanting is attracting more and more paddy farmers in Kerala.By adopting good quality seedlings,adequate use of organic manure, integrated water and pest management Kerala farmers can increase rice yield and thereby profit from it.Also paddy fields are being converted into filled up land.
To increase revenue from paddy fields,after two croopping in every year ,short-term crops can be cultivated in paddy field.Short term plants suitable for Kerala includes vegitables,groundnut(Nila kadala),Sesame seeds(Ellu),Cowpea(Payar), Chinese Potatoes(Koorka) etc.
Rice fields are slowly diminishing from Kerala,creating threat to food security of the State.For conversion of paddy fields ,kerala government had made law to stop filling the paddy fields for uses like construction and cultivation of cash crops like Rubber,Cocunut tree etc.
There has been an unprecedented hike in the price of rice over Kerala for the last three years. price of rice in the open market reached Rs.27-30 per kg In 2011 january.