A few years ago, the paddy fields in front of my parent’s fields were as green as this wonderful shade 🙂
Now, labour is hard to come by, people have not time or inclination to work the fields, the owners cannot commit themselves to keeping their fields fertile and sowing paddy, so they have switched crop- banana does not need much attention, is way bigger than paddy grain, and easier to manage. So the landscape changes:
(Click on the pic. above, to enlarge, and magnify to see the tiny banana saplings, on the opposite side)
Both these pictures are taken from the front of my parents’ house, one inside the gate, the first one, and one at the gate, looking outward, in what used to be a lush village, now turning into a semi city, with a whole lot of “gelf” money pouring in. And it just isn’t the fact that the season is a little different, it is the change in the landscape that this is going to effect! In fact many of the fields have been converted into plots for houses as well. I only wonder as to how long, before even this bit of greenery vanishes.
I was walking home from a little temple on a hillside, close by, and clicked this one… on the right you can see the banana saplings already growing.
From the opposite side, a couple of years ago, the same said temple, the fields looked like this 🙂 The pic below is taken from the opposite side of the same “varambu” ie, the little path between fields.
The problems with the banana crop are a few. First of all, water is not retained in the fields as it is with paddy. So the general ground water level is likely to come down. Next, the fertilizer used for the banana also includes manure, from chicken (does one call it manure? LOL! But chickensh**, seemed rather unparliamentary, so… :D! ) This in turn helps a sort of pest, named “cotarma” in malayalam, flourish, and it comes in swarms, sticks to the walls and ceilings and generally is a well… pest. Can cause certain kinds of rashes too. And cannot be wiped out with insect repellant or anything else 😦 It is rather hateful. So yet again, is this worth it?
Those fields are turning into killing fields for the environment, for sure.
Whither to, our race…? Pun entirely intended.
27 April, 2010