KOCHI:The Thottara rice brand cultivated in Thottarapuncha, the paddy barn of Ernakulam, will hit the market on Wednesday. The brand declaration and first sale will be held at a function at Arayankavu Shri Badhra Auditorium.
Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar will inaugurate the rice sale at the event, which will mark the success of reviving farming in Thottarpuncha fields that had been lying fallow for some years. A major portion of the 1,082-acre Thottarapuncha paddy field is spread over Mullathuruthy, Amballur and Edakattuvayal panchayats in Ernakulam district. The remaining portion lies in Kottayam district.
With focus shifting to developmental activities in the district, farming practices at Thottarapuncha took a back seat in the last decade. Thanks to various government-supported programmes, the district administration could encourage farmers and revive farming activities in the area. Around 652 acres of Thottarapuncha could yield 1,500 tonnes of rice this year.
The paddy is processed at Modern Rice Mill in Vechoor, Vaikom. The Thottarapuncha rice will be sold in the market at `55 per kg packet.After the land acquisition for various projects and canals, around 700 acres of the Thottarapuncha were left out. Of that, over 600 acres were used for cultivation, which saw a mix of modern and traditional farming methods. The farmers’ committee formed recently with the support of the Agriculture Department and the district administration will oversee the sale of the Thottara brand rice.
Apart from the local self-governing bodies, Kudumbashree, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Keecheri Service Cooperative Bank are also providing support to the farmer’s committee. Besides popularising Thottarapuncha brand, the initiative also intends to provide fair price to farmers for their produce. Paddy cultivation in Thottarapuncha takes place once a year. The fields remain submerged during the remaining part of the year. In the coming years, the entire Thottarapuncha fields will shift completely to organic farming.
Jose K Mani MP, Anoop Jacob MLA, District panchayat president Asha Sanil and District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla will attend the function.