Decline in Paddy Production Hits Kerala Farmers

The paddy harvest season in Kerala is nearing completion, with over 95 percent of the harvest already gathered. However, despite this, there has been a noticeable decline in several key aspects of paddy farming in the state.

Firstly, there has been a reduction in the overall area under paddy cultivation, indicating a shrinking interest among farmers in engaging with this crop. Additionally, the number of farmers involved in paddy cultivation has decreased, reflecting a broader trend of agricultural disengagement.

Moreover, the yield per unit area has also suffered, suggesting potential challenges faced during the cultivation process or adverse weather conditions affecting productivity.

A particularly concerning aspect is the decline in procurement by Supplyco from registered paddy farmers. This decrease in procurement could exacerbate the financial strain on farmers who rely on the sale of their produce for income.

Several factors contribute to this discouraging trend among farmers. Agricultural hardships, including pest infestations and crop failures, have made paddy cultivation less attractive. Moreover, delays or non-payment after product procurement have eroded trust in the system, further dissuading farmers from investing in paddy cultivation.

Additionally, rising costs of inputs such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, coupled with inadequate infrastructure support, pose significant challenges for farmers. Wage hikes and concerns about land degradation further compound the difficulties faced by paddy farmers in Kerala.

Addressing these multifaceted challenges will require concerted efforts from policymakers, agricultural authorities, and other stakeholders to rejuvenate the paddy farming sector and provide sustainable support to farmers.

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