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ATMA Thrissur

            Thrissur  is referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala due to the presence of various centers for promotion of various forms of literature and art. The ‘Thrissur Pooram’, the annual cultural extravaganza with scores of caparisoned elephants is a unique feature of this district, which coincides with the harvest of summer crop in “Kole Lands” and is witnessed by people all over the world. On the agricultural front, this is the place of “Kole Lands” which are real potential producers of paddy in the region. In Malayalam, Kole means a bumper crop and is literally the condition regarding the yield of paddy from these lands, the average being around 5 T / ha. Other important crops of the district are coconut, banana, vegetables, rubber, pepper, nutmeg and tapioca.

            The peculiarity of cropping in this part of the earth is the prominence of homestead farming. Farming to a great extent is very much linked to the life and culture of the people. Here, people cannot think of a homestead with out a few coconut palms, banana plants and one or two varieties of vegetables. Even though, the holding size is very small, such minute farms also contribute greatly to the total agricultural production of the district. Therefore, any programme aimed at the development of the agricultural situation of the district has to give this segment its due importance.

In the case of food grain production, despite their high productivity, the kole lands, are highly susceptible to the vagaries of nature. These lands are below MSL and remain flooded during five to six months of monsoon. Efficient mechanisms for dewatering and timely availability of irrigation water are essentials for success of the crop. Strengthening of infrastructure and a definite water management strategy are to be given prime importance for hassle free paddy cultivation in these unique lands. The picture of the upland paddy cultivation in double cropped paddy lands of the district is totally different. These account for 76% of paddy lands and here the soils are less fertile, ill managed and the productivity of paddy averages only around 2.5 T / ha. Strengthening of the padasekhara samithis and timely supply of quality inputs through them will help in bringing about a change for the better. Water management has a crucial role to play in these regions also.

            Crops extending beyond the homestead level are Nendran banana, vegetables and tapioca, which cover large tracts in different pockets of the district. The delicious Chengalikodan variety of Nendran is unique to Thrissur as it’s Pooram and such taste cannot be achieved for the fruit elsewhere in the state.  Bulk production of vegetables and tapioca aimed at out of state market is another special feature of their cultivation in this district. Hence market linkages to distribute them outside the district , outside the state and export from the country are to be developed.

            Animal husbandry and dairy are to be integrated with the homestead culture for tapping their mutually complementary effects. Rearing buffaloes and goat for meat, backyard poultry and duckery in  Kole  padavus  are yet to  find roots here, and concerted efforts need to be taken along these lines. Fisheries sector is well developed in the district with deep sea fishing, inland capture fisheries and culture fisheries having laid strong foundation in definite locations along coastal and Kayal belt.

Culture of tiger prawns, fresh water prawns, fresh water fishes mussels; ornamental fishes have developed along industrial lines . Equally important are the capture of naturally occurring prawns, Etroplus (karimeen), clams (kakka) and innumerable indigenous fishes from Kole padavus during dewatering.

Each of these sectors requires strengthening in various aspects for the farmers to reap the maximum benefits. The ATMA programme would help to identify the bottlenecks and overcome them to achieve the maximum production potential, the district is capable of in agriculture and allied sectors.

 
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