PATHANAMTHITTA: Harping on the objective of ensuring remunerative prices for paddy farmers and attracting the new generation into the agriculture sector, the Evergreen Army of Paracode in Adoor is making inroads into Central Travancore.
The 92-member Evergreen Army, including 72 farmers trained by Kerala Agriculture University formed by the Paracode block panchayat, is planning to extend paddy cultivation from 200 acres to 2,000 acres in the coming ‘mundakan’ season.
Binu Chackalayil, Paracode block panchayat vice-president and one of founders of the Evergreen Army, told ‘Express’ that the farm brigade was set up with the larger aim of revitalising paddy cultivation.
The objective of ensuring attractive income to the farmers through mechanisation, preparation of paddy fields, planting of seedlings, harvesting, was already achieved during the pilot project of paddy cultivation in 200 acres spread over four grama panchayats.
Thrust on Productivity:
Binu Chackalayil said that to regain the confidence of farmers, thrust is given to maximise productivity.
In the pilot project, the farm brigade could harvest a yield to the tune of 10 to 12 tonnes per acre, he said.
The new work force has an advantage of having a team of unskilled hands, who got the expertise in handling both traditional and mechanised ways of paddy cultivation, Binu said.
The Evergreen Army, who underwent training in vegetable cultivation under KAU, is exploring the prospects of vegetable cultivation on a larger scale.
A monitoring committee under the chairmanship of Paracode block panchayat president and assistant agriculture director as deputy chairman is conducting the periodical review of the working of the Evergreen Army.
With the Agriculture Department offering assistance on all fronts, the new brand of farm personnel could provide attractive revenue to the farmers and round-the-year attractive income for themselves, he said. The Evergreen Army joined hands with Kudumbashree units across the district as part of widening its activity and instilling confidence among cultivators. As per the new plan, 138 Kudumbashree units will be roped in for covering the new areas under paddy cultivation, Binu said.