THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A model programme to offset carbon emissions with the help of Rambutan orchards has begun in Kattakada in Thiruvananthapuram. Saplings of the spiky fruit have been planted in different locations in five panchayats falling under the Kattakada assembly constituency.
The project is part of the Carbon-Neutral Kattakada programme initiated by local MLA IB Sathish. A total of 864 saplings have been planted in fifteen acres of land owned by 47 farmers. This is an assisted farming model in which the farmers are given subsidies and technical support by the Agriculture Department and State Horticulture Mission.
The crop was selected considering its advantages in income generation for farmers and carbon sequestration feature, says A Nizamudeen, State Land Use Board Commissioner and coordinator of Karshikasamrudhi, a programme launched by the MLA to make the constituency self-reliant in agriculture.
“There is an assured market for the crop domestically. Every effort will be taken to help the farmer get maximum returns,” he said. Carbon sequestration is the process in which trees or plants take up atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and store it in biomass.
Plans are afoot to set up a fruit processing and value addition centre in the constituency. The project to be launched by the Kattal Industrial Development Council is aimed at direct procurement of fruit crops from farmers and thereby giving them fair prices.
“Rambutan plants would start fruiting in three years. The orchards are set up scientifically with prescribed distance between the plants. Officers of the agriculture department will monitor the growth of plants and advise farmers,” Nizamudeen said.
The Karshika Samrudhi programme is to promote agricultural entrepreneurship in a big way. The aim is to make farming more profitable through effective strategies right from crop selection to marketing. The project covers the sectors of agriculture, veterinary, dairy and fisheries. Under this, farmers’ groups and Kudumbasree groups are encouraged to conduct cultivation in adherence with an SoP to ensure
quality of yields.