Why the rice bowl in Kerala is shrinking

Kerala, Paddy, farming
From 7.6 lakh hectares in 1955-60, the area under paddy cultivation in Kerala has come down to just 2.5 lakh hectares in 2018-19

For 56-year-old Isaac, a farmer from Kerala’s Alappuzha, growing rice is no longer profitable but that’s all he knows and does best.

“That’s the only thing I know. Also, I love paddy farming,” says Isaac who has been farming in 100 acres of leased paddy fields in Kuttanad.

Isaac is not the first from his family to do so. His father and grandfather both did the same for a living. But he isn’t sure his children would continue the legacy. Isaac’s son is an engineer while his daughter has completed her post-graduation in commerce and is working with a private firm. “My children have no plans to work in the fields.”

But Isaac can hardly blame his children. “Paddy farming is no longer viable.”

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