Pokkali Rice Cultivation in India: a Technique for Multi-Stress Management
This chapter discusses one of the popular technologies enshrined in Indian traditional knowledge to manage rainwater and seawater in a holistic manner for rainfed rice-saline fish/prawn culture. The technology in common parlance in Kerala (India) is known as Pokkali cultivation. Pokkali is also unique saline tolerant rice variety that is cultivated in an organic way in the water logged coastal regions of Alappuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts of Kerala in Southern India. Some of the scientific interventions such as breeding rice varieties to manage acid saline soils are also presneted. The waste materials of Pokkali rice forms the food for the fish/prawn. In this system, no selective stocking or supplementary feedings is done. This practice has been effectively pursued for centuries as it maintains ecological balance and ensures a reasonable profit to the farmer. The traditional technique of prawn infiltration has been developed by the innovative Pokkali farmers.