The first experimentally cultivated organic paddy crop in Vadakkencherry panchayat of Palakkad district was harvested on Wednesday.
District panchayat president Subaida Ishaaq inaugurated the harvest festival of the 50-acre demonstration plot which was attended by a large gathering of the public and officials of the Agricultural Department and the panchayat.
Vadakkencherry panchayat president P Gangadharan presided over the meet. The yield from the maiden crop was estimated at 4 tonnes per hectare which is higher than the average yield of 3.5 tonnes under conventional paddy crop, said the farmers.
Agriculture Department joint director P S Soman said that higher paddy yield would encourage more farmers to adopt organic paddy cultivation.
The Poabs Group which undertakes organic cultivation in Nelliampathy, had offered to buy back the harvested paddy offering a price which was 25 percent higher than the prevailing market price. They had also provided technical advice besides providing bio-manure, biofertilisers and bio-control measures.
Poabs Group director Thomas Jacob who received the harvested paddy, said that they were doing their best to create an awareness among the farmers on organic cultivation and the benefits which accrue by switching over from chemical fertilisers.
He said that he had identified several farms in Alappuzha and Palakkad districts to be converted into organic cultivation. Once certifications were obtained, organic products would receive a 50 percent premium when sold in the international market, he said.