THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala’s first high-tech farming demonstration unit will be installed at Santhigiri Ashram, said Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan. Inaugurating an agriculture fair at Santhigiri Fest 2012, which is being organised at Santhigiri Ashram by the Ashram’s Agriculture Department in collaboration with State Department of Agriculture and State Horticultural Mission, he said that the unit will help farmers acquaint themselves with modern mechanised farming techniques to cope up with acute labour shortage.
Green houses and poly houses, which can help farmers grow rare varieties of medicinal plants in controlled temperature and moisture conditions, will be set up at the facility. There will also be demonstration of precision farming techniques which can help farmers achieve greater control over productivity by steps like limiting fertilizer usage without putting the environment at risk, he said.
He said the budget had shown importance to development of bio-farming and precision farming. Agriculture Department would take every possible effort to put Central funds to maximum use.
The meeting held at Santhigiri Ashram Research Zone was presided by Santhigiri Ashram Organizing Secretary Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi. Santhigiri Ashram Agriculture Department Head Swami Jyothiroopa Jnana Thapaswi, Kerala Livestock Development Board MD Ani S. Das, Muslim League District Secretary S.A. Wahid, WTO Special Officer Regina S., Farm Information Principal Officer Sunil Kumar and Santhigiri Electrical Department Consultant Rajan, also spoke.
The fair will have on sale, seeds and saplings of vegetables, fruits, tuber crops, flowering plants and medicinal plants. Various programmes like seminars and classes on farming techniques, interactive sessions for farmers, free soil testing, Santhigiri Karshakasree Awards and information kiosks on agriculture loans and bank saving schemes are being organised at the mela.