20 September, 2020

How A Proactive Kerala Government Prevented Coronavirus From Casting A Dark Cloud Over Kerala's Rice Bowl

Despite the early COVID-19 scare, the traditionally staggered paddy cultivation pattern went uninterrupted after workforce attrition was tackled by bringing labour from other districts

Lifeblood of Kerala—the fields and farms
Photo by V.V. Biju
How A Proactive Kerala Government Prevented Coronavirus From Casting A Dark Cloud Over Kerala's Rice Bowl
outlookindia.com
2020-04-03T18:12:11+05:30

“The only germs I have ever worried about were the ones that blighted my crop,” says Johnson in Edathua. The past week—and the peculiar dynamics of the lockdown—has then been a “learning experience”, he notes, for the roughly 50,000 farmers of Kuttanad, Alleppey, where the ‘puncha’ (rabi) harvest is underway. Unseasonal rain is a major concern at this time of the year. This season though, it is “corona” that has cast a dark cloud on Kerala’s ‘rice bowl’.

A shortage of combine harvesters and their operators—both of which mainly come from Tamil Nadu—threatened to undercut procurement even as the state guaranteed 15 kg rice for each of its 87.14 lakh ration card holders (35 kg for BPL holders). With further disbursement of free rations beginning April 1, the state leadership has enacted special health protocols for load workers, truck drivers and harvester operators. According to P.A. Thomas, a paddy farmer from Muttar, this includes close police observation and measures to ensure...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


Latest Magazine

September 28, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section