KOCHI: The state government is planning to expand paddy farming to 3 lakh hectares within a year, said Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar here on Thursday. Through sustained efforts, the government has expanded paddy cultivation to 2 lakh hectares during the past two years. There is no need to be concerned about amendments introduced in the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act. Those who are criticising the amendments have not read them properly, he said while inaugurating the Kalady Krishi Bhavan office at the mini civil station.
Krishi Bhavans are striving to bring in scientific changes in farming practices, and as part of the initiative, agro service centres will be opened in all blocks. The agriculture task forces under the agro service centres will be provided with `10 lakh each as part of the efforts to streamline its functioning and `9 lakh from this will be spent for buying machinery. `1 lakh will be set aside for providing training to farmers.
These efforts will help to address unemployment issues to an extend, he said. Steps have been taken to establish agro clinics at all Krishi Bhavans, he said, adding that Krishi Bhavans should transform themselves into Farmer Help Centres.
These clinics will help farmers conduct soil test and control pest attacks. Steps have been taken to establish clinics at 500 Krishi Bhavans and the government will ensure that all Krishi Bhavans in the state get clinics, said Sunil Kumar. Angamaly MLA Roji M John presided over the function held at Kalady Nas Auditorium. Panchayat president K Tulasi, Angamaly block panchayat president P T Paul, former MLA Jose Thettayil and others participated.