Kakkanad: The rice from Thottara paddy fields, which was known as the rice bowl of ancient Kochi kingdom, will be intorduced in the market as Thottara brand rice.

Ernakulam district collector Mohammed Y Safirulla informed that a mill costing Rs 40 lakh will be established here to process and convert the paddy into rice.

Kudumbashree has been entrusted with the operation of the mill. Paddy cultivation in 550-acre land was carried out under Harita Kerala Mission at Thottara.

Thottara puncha extends to 12,00 acres in Amballur, Edakyattuvayal panchayats in Ernakulam and Vellur panchayat in Kottayam.

Farming in the barren land was started in 2015. Paddy cultivation in 150 acres became practical after agriculture department, irrigation department and farmers teamed up for it.

District collector Mohammed Y Safirulla took the initiative to coordinate different departments for the relaunch of farming. Canals and streams were recharged and other facilities were provided for the successful farming.

Farming in nine paddy fields at Edakyattuvayal and Ambalur Panchayats are being carried out.

Along with agriculture and irrigation departments, Edakyattuvayal panchayat, Amballur panchayat, Kerala Land Development Corporation and Electricity Board will assist the farmers.

It has been expected that 300-tonnne rice will be produced from 1,500-tonne paddy which will be cultivated in the 550-acre land.

According to farmers, the harvest time will be last week of April. Minor irrigation department has cleaned up 11 kilometres long canal for the irrigation to the field.

According to minor irrigation department, water pumping from Olippuram and Pulimugham sluice will commence from today.

The authority has granted Rs 40 lakh to Kudumbashree for the establishment of a rice mill here. The mill will be ready for service soon.

Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) will organise a special training programme for farmers tomorrow at Edakyattuvayal.