THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The practice of cultivating vegetables in Kerala and selling it in the markets of the neighbouring state Tamil Nadu and returning the products back to Kerala at a much higher price is going to end.
The State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) and the State Horticulture Mission will purchase the produce directly from the farmers to make available the vegetables at a reasonable price in the state.
In the initial phase, the Horticorp will procure vegetables cultivated at Vattavada and Kanthaloor in the Idukki district.
“Around Rs 12 crore has been earmarked for the project and the procurement will start from April 1,” said State Horticulture Mission director K Prathapan.
Vegetable cultivation is being carried out in 7,500 acres of land at Vattavada and Kanthaloor alone. The vegetables will be procured and sold in the Kerala market through Horticop outlets. Hi-tech farming will be encouraged in the state as there is no sufficient land available for cultivation and a Rs 5 crore project has been sanctioned by the Government.
According to Prathapan, the successful project at Perumatti, where the vegetable farming productivity was high, will be implemented in other parts of the state also.
The hi-tech or precision farming gives more than 10 times the yield than those cultivated in the open area.
The Peri Urban Vegetable Initiative of the Union Agricultural Ministry under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, which was started in the district, will also be extended to other districts by next financial year. Seeds will be distributed for vegetable garden in Kochi metro areas by the end of this month and the project is being implemented by Agri-Horticultural Society.
The Horticulture Mission will submit a project proposal to the tune of Rs 95 crore to the Union Government. The proposal for the next fiscal include, organic paddy cultivation in Kasargod district, promoting protected cultivation, mushroom cultivation and large-scale pineapple cultivation.