After 12 long years, Onattukara in Alappuzha district in Kerala, which was once rich in Sesame cultivation, has once again started farming the oil seed. Moreover, the Onattukara Regional Agricultural Research Station (ORARS) has initiated steps to get Geographical Indication tag for the Sesame grown in the region.
The sesame grown in Onattukara region is found to have medicinal values. The study conducted in the Kerala Agriculture University has revealed this. The ORARS is trying to get the GI Tag with the support of the Intellectual Property Rights Cell of the Agriculture University. The cell was instrumental in getting GI tag for Marayur Jaggery, Central Travancore Jaggery, Chengalikodan nendrapazham, Pokkali rice and so on.
The farmers in Onattukara had shelved sesame cultivation because of poor yield and no support from any quarters. But now, Thamarakulam grama panchayat has joined hands with the farmers in the region to get their lost farming back to life. Farmers under Kannanakuzhi Arya Nellulpadhana Samithi and Thenginal Vayal Nellulpadaka Samithi have undertaken farming in 23 acres of field.
The agriculture department has given seeds free to the farmers. The farmers are cultivating sesame as a third crop. The panchayat will give Rs 7000 per hectare. Apart from this, the state agriculture department will provide Rs 5,000 per hectare as financial assistance.
Situatred in Central Travancore, the region is full of legends and myths. The region is spread across Karthikapally and Mavelikara taluks in Alappuzha and Karunagapally and parts of Kunnathur taluks in Kollam. The land is also known for its cultural uniqueness, history and agricultural prosperity. Onattukara has its own agricultural practices and lifestyle.