Rajakumari: The high range's Kuttanad, which has withstood the ravages of floods and climate change, is resonating with harvest songs that have a distinct Bengali rhythm to them.
Muttukadu at Baison Valley panchayat, which has the highest number of paddy fields, is known as the Kuttanad of the high range. Kuttanad in Alappuzha district is known as the rice bowl of Kerala.
Earlier, Muttukadu had nearly 100 hectares of fields, which has come down to about 50 hectares now. Since there is a shortage of workers, harvesting is done by migrant labourers here.
Most of them are from West Bengal. Earlier, farmers use to opt for irupoo farming (two crops in a season) where the harvesting is done twice and year. But, now, due to shortage of water, it has been cut down to one. Ever since their migration, farmers have never failed to cultivate their paddy fields in Muttukadu.
The paddy farmers in Muttukadu squarely blame governments for not providing any help for cultivation. During monsoon, water enters their fields due to check dam bursts.