The Chitravalli Kolpadavu Samiti of Thrissur Iringalakuda, Mapranam in Kerala s writing history in rice farming in the Kole wetlands region. Imagine running profitable rice farming without interruption for 56 years! It is the collective effort of farmers that resulted in the capital which has been successfully handed down from generation to generation.
There are 100 farmers including women in the committee. In the 88.5-acre paddock, there are those who own between 8 cents to 12.5 acres. Varghese Perumbally (President), Joy Maliackal (Secretary), Wilson Alukal (Treasurer), and Sister CC Paul (St. Xavier's Convent) form an 11-member governing body. Sister Sisy is the representative of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) which has the largest area of cultivation (12.5 acres).
Cultivation with a difference
There is a sort of flower cultivation done in the Kole wetlands. In the Kole wetlands soil becomes more acidic as the depth increases. So ploughing is done with a tiller instead of a tractor. The planting is done after removing the acidity of the soil by applying lime. The seeds soaked in Pseudomonas for 12-14 hours are germinated and planted. Sowing will happen between October- November (Mundakan). They are cultivating 120-130 days mature Uma and Jyoti varieties and are planting with manure, chicken manure, and other organic fertilizers. Fertilizers are also given at regular intervals. Since the entire field is sown with the same seed, at the same time, it can be harvested together. The cost of planting is Rs 5000 per acre. There is also pulse cultivation in the middle ridges of the Kole wetlands. The pulses can attract friendly insects that fight off pests that attack rice. Farmers will also get additional income.
The duty of the Farmers' panel is to carry out the general needs of the 36-hectare paddock, such as pumping, and maintenance of the motor and the floor. The committee also provides guidance to farmers to bring uniformity to agriculture.
Once a month and during emergencies, the management committee also reviews agriculture. After the harvest, the general meeting passes the income and expenditure accounts and elects new office bearers. Then they prepare for the next crop.
Cultivation is done individually under the supervision of the committee. Each takes his own expenses according to the area of the field. The seeds are available freely from the Agricultural farm. Fertilizers and such things are purchased by the farmers themselves. The committee buys and distributes lime with government subsidy and provides farming equipment and workers.
The yield is about 3000 kg of paddy per acre. Supplyco is taking rice at Rs 28.20 per kg. A roll of straw costs an average of Rs.120.
According to Porathuseri Agriculture Officer Ancy, the friendship of the farmers and their interest in agriculture have kept Chitravallikootaimma alive for half a century. "This is a committee that will not stop farming in any adverse situation." The farmers of Chitravalli also say that the officials of the Krishi Bhavan and the Village Officer KS Raji, who is in charge of Puncha Subsidy, are offering great support.
The CADA (Command Area Development Authority), which pumps the water required for agriculture and delivers it to the fields, has broken down due to old age, so the only problem is that it is difficult to get water. They hope that the authorities will find a solution for it soon.