Rice Fest begins in Kottayam
The three day Rice Fest, which showcases an assorted variety of rice grains, with the objective of promoting organic farming and the zero budget Natural Farming system propagated by Subhash Palekar, began at the Thirunakkara Ground here.
Grains including 'Chenkazhma, Thavalakkannan, Njavara, Kuruva, Chembavu, mayan, Kodukanni, Jeerakashala and Ghandhakashala' are displayed at the expo. All these rice grains are of varied taste, scent, shape and colour. Besides the varieties of rice various rice products and jaggery have also been included in the expo. Traditional equipment and methods of farming are also displayed here.
The fest has been organised by group of young farmers led by K M Hilal, natural farming propagator, to promote cultivation through traditional methods and encourage direct marketing between producers and consumers.
'We have been regularly organising rice fairs where the farmer takes his yield and sells it directly to the consumer, at lesser rates. We have organised more than four such events in different parts of the state, after the four harvests we have had since we began organic farming,' Mr Hilal said.
Rice producer by a group of 25 farmers in nearly 260 acres of paddy field in the districts of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam are sold in the expo.
It also includes rice harvested from the 17 acre paddy field owned by actor Mammootty at Kumarakom.
In addition to the farm land at Kumarakom, Hilal has now taken up the initiative to convert farm lands jointly owned by a group of his friends into a natural farm.
To showcase the spirit of paddy farming, hulling and winnowing were conducted at the fest. An exhibition of the local breeds of cattle in the state will also be held.
(Posted on 23-05-2014)