Shortage of labourers hits pokkali farming in Kadamakkudy

Demand to deliver harvesting work beneath Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

The scarcity of fingers for harvesting has emerged as one of the most important challenges for pokkali rice farmers in Kadamakkudy.

Around 85 out of the potential 100 hectares in the panchayat have been beneath cultivation this yr. However, the workforce woefully falls brief of the best 200-300 staff for finishing the harvesting inside the extraordinarily slender window of 7-10 days.

“|With the new generation staying away from farming, getting adequate labourers for harvesting remains a struggle. Since harvesting has to be done standing almost hip-deep in water, the workers cannot be engaged beyond noon, further delaying the completion of harvesting,” stated Mary Shilpa, District Agriculture Officer.

The typical harvesting machine can be of little use for pokkali farming. Though a specifically designed machine demonstrated a number of years in the past was discovered to be considerably profitable, it didn’t transcend that.

“The government has shown little interest in developing a machine compatible for pokkali farming, which could resolve the shortage of labourers somewhat. The government should also reintroduce a special budgetary provision for promoting pokkali farming as was in vogue in the late 90s before it was suspended abruptly following audit objections,” stated Ok.A. Thomas, secretary of Kadamakkudy Nellulppadhaka Padashekhara Samithi.

The authorities had at the moment supplied an help of ₹400 for 20 staff engaged per hectare, which was in addition to the day by day wages paid by paddy area house owners.

There can be a requirement both to not run the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) concurrently throughout the harvesting interval or to deliver harvesting work beneath the programme to resolve the problem of loss of labourers to the comparatively much less labour-intensive programme.

“We have already applied to allow harvesting work under MGNREGS to overcome the labour shortage,” stated Ms. Shilpa.

Benny Xavier, a pokkali farm proprietor, stated that except harvested inside the slender window, the pokkali stalks could succumb to unseasonal rain, resulting in appreciable wastage. “An amphibian harvesting machine imported from Germany was demonstrated a few years ago but wasn’t taken forward owing to the cost factor. Its proponent is now working on customisation to reduce the cost. If proved successful, then it could help finish the harvesting within three or four days compared to around 20 days taken by a couple of hundred of workers,” he stated.

A presentation primarily based on the prototype of the proposed machine is prone to be held throughout the course of the continued Kadamakkudy Village Fest.

Vipin Raj, Kadamakkudy panchayat vp, rued that whereas there was nonetheless an older era prepared to move on the information, the newer era stays removed from .

M.P. Praveen , 2021-10-29 16:34:43

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