1. Agriculture World

Kerala’s Kudumbashree Launches Program to Turn Fallow Land into Lush Field

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Kudumbashree Organization for women empowerment

The Kasaragod district of Kerala is witnessing an exciting makeover. The district mission of Kudumbashree has launched a month-long program to convert wastelands into lush crop fields of rice and vegetables.  The program is a poverty eradication program called “Mazhappolima.” This program is celebrated as a festival to mark the collective spirit of the people, monsoon rains, and agriculture as a whole.  

The campaign aims to help the state achieve self-sufficiency in food, water, economy, and social security by connecting lives of people to sustainable development.  

The festival is started with much fervor and will continue for a month. The idea is to bring a major transformation in Kerala’s lands, turning fallow into crop fields.  

Statement of Kudumbashree District Mission Coordinator Surendraan TT

“For the last three years, we have been mobilising the public, especially women from Kudumbasree, in the fields to cultivate paddy. During the monsoon, we assemble on the farm lands and conduct it as a festival.” 

“Although India is essentially an agricultural country, farmers here are facing a lot of problems. They can’t make as much yield as they wish and the cost of cultivation is high. Through this festival, we make sure farmers get support,” he added. 

Loans for lands 

The initial investment for land preparation is through loans by internal lenders, who are among the members of Kudumbashree. The District Mission is attracting farmers through incentives in the form of cash remuneration depending on the area of cultivation. 

Paddy farmers get Rs. 8000 for each hectare tilled.  

The local bodies are doing their part by opening up designated areas for the farmers here to sell their bumper produce.  

This year, the state officials have identified 21 hectares of new wasteland for cultivation. The total fallow land area is 1705 hectares, out of which 1556 hectares is now cultivable land.  

Besides paddy, farmers here grow vegetables, including bananas and potatoes.  

Last year, the District Mission had claimed to transform 646 acres of barren land into cultivable land through this festival. The farmers had harvested 11.8 tonnes of rice and marketed it to the local market under the brand name “Arisree.” “Ari” means “rice” in Malayalam.  

The program or festival is designed to encourage women farmers so that they receive a boost in their income through extra funds from Kudumbashree district mission.  

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