THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Following the huge response from the public in growing vegetable saplings under the ‘vegetable initiative for peri-urban cluster scheme’ (pachakkari samrudhi nadinum nagarathinum), State Horticulture Mission has come up with the seed vending machine which was inaugurated by Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan at the office of the Mission at Palayam on Wednesday. By inserting a currency note of ` 10, a bag containing a variety of assorted seeds can be availed from the machine. A sample kit would contain refrigerated seeds of varieties including lady’s finger, chillies, brinjal, cow pea and amaranthus. The seeds are supplied by Kerala Agricultural University under the seed infrastructure facility funded by the National Horticulture Mission. The machines are installed under phase two of the scheme.
Says K Prathapan, Director of State Horticulture Mission, “people had demanded to make available plant seeds and manure after planting saplings in the ongoing phase one of the scheme. The concept of installing seed vending machine was mooted in the wake of such a demand from the public.” The machines are planned to be installed at public places like railway station, bus stand and shopping complexes after reaching consensus with the authorities concerned. Horticulture mission has at present bought three machines for this purpose. A machine would be installed at the office of Krishi Bhavan functioning at Saphalyam complex soon. “It is on a pilot process that the machines are being installed in the city. If found successful, we would extend it to other districts too,” says Prathapan. A machine can bear upto 500 kits at a time and needs to be refilled as it is emptied.
Under the vegetable initiative for peri-urban cluster scheme, the mission had supplied grow bags in 30,000 homes, around 60 schools and 10 colleges in the city. Nearly 600 residents associations have participated in the programme.