Chengannur: Last year's floods had wreaked havoc across vast swathes of land in Kerala. Residences, businesses and farm lands were damaged during floods and even landslides last monsoon. However, farmers at Venmani here in Kerala's Alappuzha district today find the natural calamity had an unforeseen positive effect. High yields have been obtained from the paddy fields during the recent harvest.
Paddy fields in Idaneer, Menilam, Pallippuram saw 100% output, though harvests are due from the Changappadam and Vettuveli lands.
It is said there has been a manifold increase in organic carbon in soil after the floods, thus increasing the yield significantly.
Total organic carbon level has risen from 1.5% to 3.5%, said agricultural officer V Anilkumar.
Normally organic carbon levels increase gradually. Organic farming over the years too helps. But neither of these happened here.
Large areas of agricultural lands on the banks of Achankovil river became unfit for cultivation as floods deposited sediments scooped out from its bed. However, this made paddy fields richer in organic content beneficial for better output.
Farmers said now they could reduce use of dolomite, lime and fertilisers on their fields.
There were lesser crop infections too, they added.
Clear weather also helped them gain good returns this harvest season.
The government had earlier provided Rs 12,200 per hectare to remove dirt accumulated after floods. Free seeds were given too.