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Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System




Site location:   Kuttanad region, Kerala State, INDIA

Area of GIAHS: -

Population working for this system: -

Topological Characteristics: wet lands

Climatic Classification: humid tropical conditions

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: -

Primary Income Sources: agriculture, fisheries

Kuttanad Wetland Agriculture System is unique, as it is the only system in India that favours rice cultivation below sea level in the land created by draining delta swamps in brackish waters. As an approach to cope with the imminent climate impacts in coastal areas and evolve efficient methods it aims to deal with soil availability and floods issues in agriculture.

The Kuttanad system is a complex mosaic of fragmented agricultural landscapes divided in three structures: wetlands used for paddy activities and fish catching, garden lands used for coconut, tubers and food crops plantation and water areas used as inland fishing and shells. Wetlands are created thanks to the construction of polders with bunds and its dewatering.

Facing a severe pollution of waters due to the tourism but also to the use of chemicals, the protection of this fragile and unique system from any external pressure is important and urgent for humanity as it is essential for maintaining and enhancing so much endemic biodiversity and several vital ecosystem services for human well-being worldwide.