Pokkali Rice Cultivation: A Review on the Indigenous Rice Cultivation Method in Kerala

Asha Elizabeth Jose *

Department of Extension Education, Post Graduate Institute, Dr. PDKV, Akola, India.

Nalla Charitha

Department of Agronomy, Post Graduate Institute, Dr. PDKV, Akola, India.

Rohit Karde

Department of Agronomy, Post Graduate Institute, Dr. PDKV, Akola, India.

Akshay Bayskar

Department of Agronomy, Post Graduate Institute, Dr. PDKV, Akola, India.

Yanala Akhil Reddy

Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Post Graduate Institute, Dr. PDKV, Akola, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Kerala state's rice consumption is predicted to be between 3.5 and 4 million tons per year, but production is just a sixth of this. In order to boost the state's rice production, attention must be paid to traditional rice growing techniques. Thus, there is a need to understand the Pokkali rice cultivation method used in Kerala. The Pokkali style of rice farming in Kerala's acidic, saline soil is a distinctive way of rice cultivation. A native historic salt-tolerant type of rice called Pokkali, with a 120-day growing season, can withstand flooding by growing up to a height of 1.5 meters.  Chettivirippu, Vyttila 1, Vyttila 2, Vyttila 3, Vyttila 4 and Vyttila 5 are the other rice varieties cultivated using the Pokkali rice cultivation method. With this technique, a single rice crop is harvested on mounds during the low salinity part of the production cycle (June to mid-October), with prawn aquaculture taking place during the high salinity phase (November to April). Pokkali cultivation only produce 2000 kg of rice per hectare, making it slightly unprofitable. The rice plant residue after harvesting is left to rot in the water which subsequently acts as prawn feed. Prawn farming takes place from November to April. Sluice gates help in prawn culture filtering by maximizing the amount of saline water that enters the field and preventing the prawns from escaping. The two main cultivated prawns species are Penaeus monodon (Tiger prawn) and Penaeus indicus (White prawn). Prawns are typically collected in mid-April, especially two to three days before new full moon days, as tidal activity affects their movement. Prawn excreta serve as a natural fertilizer for rice cultivation; prawns feeding on rice cultivation stubbles help to minimize the occurrence of illness in rice to a minimum. It is an organic rice production approach with less cost than commercial rice farming because chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not used.

Keywords: Pokkali, prawn farming, vyttila

How to Cite

Jose, Asha Elizabeth, Nalla Charitha, Rohit Karde, Akshay Bayskar, and Yanala Akhil Reddy. 2023. “Pokkali Rice Cultivation: A Review on the Indigenous Rice Cultivation Method in Kerala”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (8):1090-95. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i82047.


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