PALAKKAD: At a time when the agricultural scientists and farmers are up in arms against the government for transferring krishi farms for non-agricultural purposes to various other departments, the government is planning to commit yet another transfer for non-agricultural purpose.
Two acres of land of Karuvacheri farm at Neeleshwaram will be handed over to Neeleshwaram municipality for constructing a bus stand, if the state government has its way.
In 2012 a Cabinet decision was taken to hand over two acres of krishi farm, where a lot of agricultural researches have been taking place relentlessly for years. But owing to the resistance of agricultural scientists, it was delayed till date but the government is planning a forceful eviction of the multi-storey building in the land, for the bus stand.
When contacted, Neeleshwaram municipality chairperson V Gouri said ‘Express’ that “the government assured us to provide the land in 2012, but due to the resistance of Agricultural University it has not become a reality so far. The university officials said that various kinds of agricultural researches have been taking place in the land and the move will affect these researches”.
It evokes serious question on the attitude of the government towards agriculture researches and it attains much significance on the wake of declining agricultural production in the state. The government who is supposed to protect krishi farms for increasing the agricultural production has been handing over krishi farms for non-agricultural purposes.
Kerala Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor P Rajendran came down heavily against this move and said, “a lot of agricultural researches have been taking place in the land and giving the land means ending the years long researches abruptly.
“We respect the cabinet decision and we are ready to give two acres of land outside the farm where research activities are not taking place. However, it was not agreeable to them,” he said.Though, handing over of krishi farms to any other department, organisations or individual either temporarily or permanently for any purpose was prohibited by a government order (MS-310/96) in 1996, hundreds of acres of krishi farms, across the state, have already been handed over to various other departments for non-agricultural purposes.
This is a major setback to the agricultural production in the state and the farmers opined that this will further suppress the downtrodden agricultural sector.
“This will lead to shrinking of agriculture land in the state and it will also lead todeclining of agriculture production. It is through the krishi farms that the farmers in the state are supposed to get various sophisticated farming methods, hybrid seeds etc.
But for the last couple of years the functioning of the farm lands have been ill-fated and the government is doing nothing to resurrect krishi farms, but is giving off its land,” said Farmers Association president Koya Yousuf.
In Kollam district 30 cents of land of Kadakkal State Seed Farm have been handedover to the Public Works Department for road widening. and 22.7 cents of land of Kozha State Seed Farm at Kottayam was handed over to the Revenue Department for building construction.