KOTTAYAM: M K Karunakaran, a 94-year-old farmer hailing from Chengalam in Kottayam, can heave a huge sigh of relief since his cherished dream of resuming farming on the five acre of land in Methran Kayal paddy fields in Kumarakom, is going to turn a reality in just a few hours from now. Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar will inaugurate the sowing of seeds on Karunakaran’s land as part of the official resumption of paddy farming in Methran Kayal fields on Thursday.
The elderly agricultarist is now in an upbeat mood following his success in battling the odds after Rakindo Developers Pvt Ltd-- promoters of Kumarakom Ecotourism Village Project-- acquired around 378 acre out of the 404 acre of land in Methran Kayal in 2008.
And farming will resume on the 25 acre jointly held by five farmers. Besides Karunakaran, other farmers, who are going to resume farming here, include N K Alexander, belonging to Nallanickal house, Vadacode in Ernakulam, who won a legal battle against company; Suresh of Powath house, Binu of Thundiyilparambil and Thankappan of Chirappath house (all of them hailing from Kumarakom).
Alexander said it was the resolve shown by Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar which ensured that the issue could be taken to its logical conclusion.
“I never ever expected that farming would resume on my nine acre in Methran Kayal. But, the Agriculture Minister has made it possible,” he said.
After completing the infrastructure development and dewatering at Methran Kayal in a record time of just under two months, the officials have started preparing the land for cultivation.
“It was in mid-July that the Agriculture Minister visited Methran Kayal and directed us to take steps to resume farming. On September 6, we commenced the groundwork here and completed it by November 1. Outer bunds were strengthened and dewatering has been completed. While, the government had earmarked `80 lakh for the initiative, we could complete all the works for ` 68 lakh,” said Muhammed Sherif, Assistant Engineer(AE) in the Agriculture Department.
According to the AE, the NREGA workers had begun readying the land for cultivation, with the farmers often coimg over to coordinate the work.
“We have to demarcate the holdings of individual farmers with ridges, which will commence on Tuesday,” Sherif said.
Even though the decks have been cleared for resuming the farming activities, there have been some sticking points like erratic power supply. And the contractor of the works as well as the Agriculture Department officials have come out with complaints regarding non cooperation on the part of the KSEB.
“There has been no power supply to the pump houses since Sunday evening and they could not rectify it even late on Monday evening, which would affect the dewatering process here,” said an official.