In the rice bowl

At Kuttanad, harvested paddy being packed in gunnybags. A file picture. Reliance's attempt to reach an agreement with the Kuttanad Development Society to buy its entire paddy harvest failed, apparently over the price. ONE of the most sensitive initiatives by Reliance Retail since its foray into the farm sector in Kerala in June 2007 was its attempt to procure rice from Kuttanad in Alappuzha district, where farmers have been in distress for long because of falling prices, labour shortage, high cost of inputs, shrinking area under cultivation, opposition to mechanisation, and high wages.

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