Alappuzha: 25,000 hectares of land in Alappuzha district is all set to start ‘Punja’ paddy farming, Principal Agricultural Officer J. Premkumar informed in a meeting chaired by Collector T. V. Anupama at collectorate. According to the agriculture calendar prepared for Punja farming, sowing in 4500 hectares of backwater paddy fields will start from October 15. In 14,500 hectares in Kuttanad, sowing will start from November 1, whereas in 1700 hectares of black paddy fields, sowing will commence from November 15. Paddy will be sown in 4300 hectares in Upper Kuttanad from December 1.

2500 metric ton paddy seeds are prepared via government agencies like KSSDA (Kerala State Seed Development Authority) and NSC (National Seeds Corporation). The farmers will be provided the seeds through Krishi Bhavan according to the paddy fields. The farmers will be provided Rs 1500 per hectare, quicklime for 75 % subsidy rate, Rs 1000 bonus per hectare and electricity for free. Chemical fertilisers will be provided by means of DBT software through recognised dealers.

Agriculture, canal and irrigation departments and agricultural engineering wing will arrange for proper measures to resolve the problems in the irrigation system and lack of facilities for the Punja fields in Mavelikkara, Charummoodu and Chengannur regions.

As the soil preparation is fully automatic and reaping 95 per cent, private operators will also be assigned for this work. There are plans to make sowing, planting and weed removal also machine-driven. Government permission is sought to hand over the reaping machines in Caico to the paddy fields which intend to utilise them.

Government has made an agreement with banks to avail the price of the paddy to the farmer’s account within 3 days. Those who lose their crops in natural calamities will be provided financial assistance of Rs 35,000 and insurance as well.