Global recognition for the below sea level rice cultivation

MSSRF’s effort since 2007 resulted in FAO recognition of Kuttanad farming systems that practice below sea level rice cultivation in reclaimed wetlands as a globally important agricultural heritage system in 2011. Kuttanad being a deltaic region where most of its land lies at 1.5 to 2.5 m below sea level, and a part of the Vembanad Wetland System (VWS), are the only sites in the whole Asian region where people practice Below Sea Level Farming. It consists of 110000 ha of lakes, lagoons, rivers, and canals, in which 50,000 ha lies below the mean sea level height. The farming system model under wetland is unique that has adopted paddy-fish based farming system in which paddy varieties are saline tolerant, and in the upland it adopts an agro-forestry approach. MSSRF has been working on strengthening the lives and livelihoods of the farmers adopting an eco-system approach.

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