After ploughing and sowing, students from three different colleges came to transplant the paddy seedlings in the same field again at the Sanjo eco farm owned by Vattathara Mundadan George Joseph of Nedungad, Nayarambalam, Vypin.
It was chapter three of the Pokkali Farming Workshop. They actively took part in the transplanting of the Pokkali seedlings at the paddy field with the instructions of other experienced workers keeping the knowledge and enthusiasm from the previous farming lessons.
“After sowing the sprouted seeds, the seedlings grow scattered in the field. 25-30 days later, when the seedlings got enough growth, they are transplanted at a uniform distance from plant to plant, in straight rows. Giving proper spacing to the plants helps uniform growth and convenience in reaping. Unlike other paddy cultivation practices, the Pokkali Seedling transplanting is really difficult to operate with a rotary weeder or other machinery, but a completely manual operation is needed to finish the job.”— Johny Vattathara, Farmer
There was an interactive session with farmers and workers at the end of the workshop. “There are many verities in Pokkali seeds which include Pokkali, Churuttu Pokkali, Virippu, Chettyviruppu, Anakkondan and Cheruviruppu”, as an answer to a question raised by one of the participants during the Q&A session, Mr Johny replied.
About 75 students participated in the Pokali Farming Workshop which was designed and implemented by Grassroute with the intention of popularizing Pokkali farming.
Library Science students of Kalamaseri Rajagiri College, NSS students of Malyankara S.N.M. College and the law students of Govt. Law College, Ernakulam along with the teachers came to the transplanting programme.
Dr A.T. Francis, Head of Library Science, Rajagiri College, Prof. Dr Susan Mathew, Assoc. Prof. Dr Joshi George, Assoc. Prof. Neetha Devan, Assoc. Prof. Neetu Mohanan, Asst. Prof. Dr Joseph I. Thomas and Asst. Prof. Vipin KD NSS Coordinator & Economics Department, Malyankara SNM. College and Asst. Prof. Dr Lakshmi G. R., Govt. Law College Ernakulam etc. led the students.