Pokkali Farming Workshop Chapter 4 — Harvest Festival.
Thanks to all the participants who made the PFW a grand success — the students, their teachers, the management, our colleagues, and our villagers. No other words to say, all did an excellent job.
Unlike the previous chapters, harvesting was comparatively heavy work and required precise skill. The reaping hook is a very sharp tool, and potentially harmful unless handled with extreme care. Considering these, we have limited the number of participants to thirty. 15 final year PG Students from the Statistics department of Rajagiri College of Social Science and 10 interns of the outREACH, who came under the leadership of Dr Jitto Jose, Asst. Prof, RCSS, Dr Unimaya, Asst. Prof, RCSS and Mr Ranjith K. Udayabhanu, Co-ordinator, outREACH, participated in the harvesting of the Pokkali yield.
Due to the heavy rain in the morning, the team reached the field a little bit late. The harvesting lessons started very soon under a team of three experienced farm workers. All the participants get into the muddy field and experienced the difficulty of harvesting. It was quite a new experience for many of the participants. All of them enjoyed the spirit of harvesting the crop.
Pokkali Cultivation – a short seminar
When the works were finished, and after having some refreshments, Mr K.K. Reghuraj, Farm Superindentent, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) and Senate Member of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) explained the environmental significance of keeping the Pokkali cultivation in this land.
“Pokkali is saline tolerant rice variety that can only be cultivated in an organic manner in the water logged coastal regions of Kerala. The residues of Pokkali farming becomes the food for the fish/prawn farming. Ideally there is no other supplementary feedings is given. This farming method has been effectively maintained for many centuries until the recent past. Now it faces troubles and farmers are abandoning their field without making any farming practice. Eventually it will affect the environmental balance in this land.”— Mr K.K. Reghuraj, Farm Superintendent, KUFOS
The select photographs of the activity are listed as a flickr.com album. Have a glance.
Pokkali Farming Workshop is finished. But there are a lot of post-harvesting jobs are in line. As a related activity, we are planning to do those jobs at a later stage as a supplement to PFW. Even if those works are being done with the help of machines these days, our idea is to recreate those olden days, when our ancestors had been doing such works manually, and we can document it accordingly.