Taking a step towards achieving self-reliance in vegetable and fruit productions in the state, the State Horticorp Mission has procured cold crops grown under the aegis of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, in Vattavada and kanthallor panchayats here.
Two apex societies of the farmers, which have been provided with Rs 5-lakh revolving fund each, procured the first bunch of vegetables from the farmers. The society will pay the farmers for the produce procured, and these crops will later be acquired by the Hotricorp Mission. The settlement is also done on the spot, Shaji Manakkad, deputy director of the agriculture department, said.
The first bunch of crops was sent to different wholesale markets run by the mission. The vegetables were carried in two trucks allotted by the mission to the markets in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikkode, he said. Cabbage, potato, carrot, garlic and beans have been grown in a big way, which is a good sign as the mission is making continuous effort to make kerala independent in production of vegetables and fruit, sources said.
The drill will go round-the-clock, and the farmers, who have got three years’ subsidy under the Central scheme, are expected to supply the vegetables to different parts of the state. At present, the farmers are cultivating crops in 1,400 hectares. An area stretching 3,000 hectares are expected to be procured for the cultivation. Strawberry, passion fruit, and apple are the main items to be produced in the fruit category. The importance is given to the production of strawberry considering its value in the market, the sources said.
Of the 500 hectares allotted for cultivation of fruit, 250 hectares will be dedicated to the production of strawberry. A big private company will buy the fruit to make pulp and other articles like jam. The scheme aimed to support farmers in the two villages was launched some days ago.
The Hortiocorp Mission provides Rs 11.6-crore subsidy to 1,495 farmers under the Idukki package for three years.