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Kerala: Stop memo against auctioning of pokkali fields for fish cultivation June 18,2019   |  Source: The Hindu

The Department of Agriculture has issued a stop memo against the auctioning off of 240 acres of pokkali rice fields for fish cultivation, temporarily providing relief to rice farmers who are keen to start field preparations as the rains have set in. There was great uncertainty over the cultivation of pokkali paddy in the paddy collective in Chellanam panchayat with some of the owners inviting bids for auctioning the fields for aquaculture on June 16. However, the Department of Agriculture had to initiate proceedings against the auction as the district administration issued orders to maintain the cycle of one fish and one rice cultivation through the two seasons in a year.

‘Involvement of lobby’

Chandu Manjadiparambili, a pokkali rice enthusiast eager to launch field preparations for the season, had expressed fears that once again the aquaculture lobby would derail plans for rice cultivation by delaying preparations. Pokkali Samrakshana Samithi convenor Francis Kalathungal alleged that there was a collective move on the part of the aquaculture lobby to prevent rice cultivation so as to enable fish cultivation at the earliest.

Mr. Kalathungal said the pokkali paddy collective was still under knee-deep water even as the rains had set in. Pumping out of water had not

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)