African Payal invades 50 acres of paddy fields in Kottayam; farmers abandon farming

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Giant Salvinia

Peruva: Aquatic ferns giant salvinia (African Payal) dominated paddy fields forcing the farmers to abandon agriculture in Kottayam. The farming activities on nearly 50 acres of field from Kavikulam to Vadukunnapuzha in Mulakkulam have been deserted due to the invasion of exotic ferns. Over 30 farmers had launched cultivation here this time.

The ferns began to invade the plot during last South West monsoon.

Most of the farmers here are those who produce rice for their own use annually. Usually, the ferns invading the fields withdraw or sweep away along with the receding waters. Though the farmers expected that the ferns will be swept away with the flowing waters rising during the North East monsoon, shortage of heavy rain during this period crashed their hopes.

The farmers could have got rid of the situation if they ploughed the field with a tractor. Unfortunately, tractors cannot be used here as the tyre would get stuck in the swamp land. Meanwhile, the farmers complain that the giant salvinia which spread with a thickness of 2 feet cannot be removed using tillers. Hence, they have resorted to abandon farming in this plot.

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