Recently visited a paddy field in Choolissery, Trichur where farmers cultivate a traditional variety called 'Kuttadan'. The speciality of this variety is that, farmers just sow it after ploughing the field, and then come for harvest. In between some times,when the paddy grows tall, they cut and feed the cows and paddy again grows back. I thought this variety is suitable for Fukuoka style of natural farming, since it grows tall, compete with grass well, no manuring required.
The paddy field in this area, has water from June to November. This variety is broadcasted in April-May and matures in December-January begining, typically in 8 months. Farmers plough the field and broadcast the seeds and never transplant this variety. Later farmer comes for harvesting, no manure is given, no weeding is done. So labor requirement is very less. My friends Santhosh and Paul told me that the field which I had seen was ploughed and then seeds were not broadcasted, but the seeds which was left from the last harvest came up and it was enough. Kuttadan is a tall variety and grows to 5 feet and there is no attack from pest. The rice is slightly different from normal rice and gets cooked fast.
This variety has good potential areas where farmers leave the field uncultivated because of high labor/input costs.
Here are some photos...
Recently heard about another farmer named Indira, who cultivates rice in 50 acres organically. She is from Kodakara, Trichur, Kerala. Her daughter Adhina who is in 6th standard helps her. In 30 acres she cultivates 'Mattathriveni' and Jyothi. In 20 acres, Basumathi, Kuttadan and Navara is cultivated. Here is the description about kuttadan in an article which came about her in a monthly 'Vanitha'.
"Kuttadan is cultivated in areas where water stagnation is there. Kuttadan grows as water in the field increases, it will stand above the water. As water recedes, it will fall and will touch the ground, new plant will come from this point where it touches the ground. Yield is less for this variety, but taste is very good. Once cultivated, there is no need for sowing seeds for another 5 years."