KOCHI: A comprehensive agricultural package to help the farmers of Choornikkara, who are yet to recover from the aftermath of the floods that hit them hard in August, was launched here on Saturday. The modernised agriculture package will focus on helping the coconut, paddy and vegetable farmers, besides those growing other crops.
The package was formulated with the help of scientists from the Vyttila Paddy Research Centre, who visited the flood-affected areas of the panchyat and conducted a scientific study. They also tested the post-flood soil condition before finalising the package.“The major aim of the package is the expansion of coconut farming to more area, launching vegetable farming in the post-flood soil deposit and supply of crops to farmers who suffered agricultural loss,” said A P Udayakumar, Choornikkara panchayat president
Nearly 5,000 coconut palms will be taken care of by the panchayat as part of the package. The preparation of land, supply of compost waste and distribution of dolomite to reduce the alkaline content of the soil, magnesium sulphate and Bureaux mixture distribution is also part of the programme. To extend the paddy cultivation, seedlings were already sown in Katteppadam fields, which had remained fallow for the past 22 years. As much as 90 per cent of the total expenses incurred in the paddy cultivation will be given as subsidy. The saplings of banana, nutmeg and pepper will be given free of cost to farmers, who have lost similar crops during the floods.
During the floods, the soil was deposited at nearly five acre of land in Pallikkeri fields. Through the Farmers’ Society, the Agriculture Department will launch vegetable farming in the area and the vegetable seeds and manure will be supplied free of cost. Moreover, 100 families who have not received grow bags in the previous year, will be given 25 filled grow bags each. The 15 farmers who lost their motor pump sets will be given new pump sets at 75 per cent subsidised rate.
“The package is expected to revamp the panchayat which bore the brunt in the floods. Agriculture is the backbone of Choornikkara and it was the farm sector which suffered the maximum blow ,” said Udaya Kumar.