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Aqua farmers come to their senses now

INDIA - About a decade or so ago, mesmerised by greed, hundreds of farmers in the coastal villages of this district turned their paddy fields into prawn tanks to cater for the international market.

Their dollar dreams shattered and neck deep in losses, they are now looking to revert to paddy cultivation, while some have converted their tanks into salt pans.

Sober reality has apparently dawned on villages like Lankavanidibba, Kothapalem, Mrutyunjayapalem, Talla Dibba, Nakshatranagar, Kottur, Paturu, Mutteswaram, Sanjivnagar and Saradanagar of Repalle mandal where the farmers have given up prawn farming.

But they will have to wait for a couple of years before cultivation can get under way as converting a fish tank into paddy field is a complicated affair.

The farmers will have to dig up the entire field to rid it of the salt-contaminated soil. The field will then have to be filled up with fresh soil.