Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Koottu-Mundakan - A unique paddy cultivation method

This is about Koottu-Mundakan method of paddy cultivation which is done in some areas of Kerala. The report about this came in Kerala Karshakan, June 2011 and March 2012.

In Kerala there are three seasons of paddy -

Virippu (1st crop)         -      April-May to Sept-Oct
Mundakan (2nd crop)   -      Sept-Oct to Dec-Jan
Puncha (3rd crop)        -      Dec-Jan to March-April

In some areas because of flooding, sowing of paddy in Mundakan is not possible. In those areas people follow this method, where in short-term-variety and long-term-variety of paddy seeds are sown in 60:40 or 70:30 ratio. Once the land is prepared for sowing, for the second crop there is no need to again spend money/time in land preparation. When 1st crop is harvested 2nd crop paddy also will be cut, but it will grow back and mature..found it amazing. As per the report - 1st harvesting is done in Aug-Sept and 2nd harvest in Dec-Jan.

Traditionally paddy varieties Kattamotan-Chettiadi, Chenkazhama-Chettiadi, Thavalakkannan-Chettiadi were used. Chettiadi when cultivated alone matures in 2nd crop season. It has the biological clock set in correctly so that even when sown during the first crop season, it matures in the 2nd crop season. It grows tall to a height of 5-6 feet. Another combination using HYVs - Samyuktha and Makaram. Samyuktha is red rice with 112-117 days, 125cm-130cm height and does not lodge. Makaram is taller than 'Samyuktha'' and lodges. Samyuktha gives 1.5-2 tons of paddy and 4 tons of straw per hectre. Makaram gives 5 tons of paddy and 5 tons of straw per hectre. These combinations are tried out in Pattambi, Palakkad.

Another combination is Thavalakkannan and Kuttadan varieties. Kuttadan is a traditional rice with 10 months duration. This is cultivated in some paddy fields where there will be always standing water, once the monsoon starts. This does not require any fertilizer, weeding, but still gives around 1.5 to 1.8 tons per acre. The rice seed has 2 inch long awn with it and rice is red rice and is very tasty. The porridge (kanji) with this rice tastes like 'Pal kanji' (Rice porridge with milk).  When cultivated in Koottu-Mundakan system thavalakannan will be harvested in September and during the harvesting, Kuttadan will be stamped, but after the harvest it comes back. This is particularly called as 'Chavittikuttadan'.' Chavitti' in malayalam means stamped.

Talked to Sreekumar who is a poojari in Vettikottu Nagaraja Swami temple who had done this type of cultivation. ( . He used 'Bhagya' paddy seed for the 1st crop and 'Dhanu' for the 2nd crop. Harvest details from 1 acre.

1st crop - 1000Kg paddy and 1500 kg straw
2nd crop - 1500Kg paddy and 2000Kg straw

Straw fetches 1000/- rupees per 100Kg and total cost of cultivation is 5000-6000/ rupees.

Later talked to one friend and he confirmed this is practiced in Vellinezhi, Palakkad.

Recently visited one farm where 'Chettiadi' is cultivated in Koottumundakan. Chettiadi coming up after the first harvest is over.

Suresh (9744482450) from Kannur district, Kuttiattor village, Kuruvottu moola does Koottu-Mundakan using Mundakan and Kayama variety. He got into this since there is labor shortage. Mundakan variety is 10 months duration and Kayama is 4 months duration. Using tiller land is tilled and seeds of Mundakan-Kayama is sown in 10:4 ratio, by April 2nd week. Seedlings of 40-45 days old is transplanted with 5-6 seedlings so that at least one Mundakan seedlings, at a distance of 15cms. After two weeks weeding is done and he also applies factomfose chemical fertilizer. Kayama will be harvested in September and Mundakan also gets cut during harvest, but it comes back fast. There will be 10-20 tillers in Mundakan.
Kayama gives a yield of 1300Kgs and Mundakan 1800Kgs per acre. Total expense per acre is 10,000/-