THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the aim of encouraging young entrepreneurs to come forward with innovative projects, the State Government will reserve 1 percent of budget allocation to support entrepreneurs, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.
“The government is promoting young entrepreneurs not only in the field of Information Technology (IT) but also in tourism, education, agriculture. All possible support will be rendered to those who come forward. One percent of budget will be reserved for assisting entrepreneurs,” said Chandy, while inaugurating Central Tuber Crops Research Institute’s (CTCRI) Techno-Incubation Centre here.
The techno-Incubation Centre will produce value-added food products from tuber crops to support and encourage participation of farmers.
“Techno-incubation centres will help to bring small-scale tuber crop cultivators to the forefront by making them involved in the production of value-added food products. “The success of research conducted by scientists at CTCRI will lead to empowerment of tuber crop farmers,” he added.
Recently, a team of scientists in CCTRI under the supervision of Dr G Padmaja, head of Crop Utilisation, had won ICAR’s (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) award for interdisciplinary research in the production of processed food products, chiefly snack items, pasta and noodles made from tapioca, sweet potato and cassava.
Techno-incubation centre will house production equipment like pasta and noodle making machines, packaging machines and electric fryers. The centre will also function as a training centre to educate farmers and entrepreneurs.
Chandy congratulated CTCRI for devising technologies to increase productivity in small farms. “Though cultivation of tropical tuber crops suffered in the past, CTCRI’s constant research programmes had increased productivity in small farm holdings,” Chandy said.
The State Government had allocated Rs 1 crore for research and establishment of incubation centre last year. Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan, who also spoke at the function, said that vested interests outside the state had made constant efforts to underrate food products manufactured in Kerala.
“There are interventions outside the state to undervalue food products manufactured in the state,” he said. CTCRI director S K Chakrabarti, Agriculture director R Ajithkumar and M A Vaheed MLA were among those present.