Kerala Budget: Rs 140 crore for second Kuttanad package fails to cheer up farmers
The allocation of Rs 140 crore announced by Finance Minister K N Balagopal for the second Kuttanad package in the budget has not brought much cheer to farmers in the rice bowl.
Published: 12th March 2022 06:28 AM | Last Updated: 12th March 2022 06:28 AM | A+A A-
ALAPPUZHA: The allocation of Rs 140 crore announced by Finance Minister K N Balagopal for the second Kuttanad package in the budget has not brought much cheer to farmers in the rice bowl. In the speech, the minister said the fund has been allocated for flood control and infrastructure development works in the region.
“Infrastructure development works of various paddy polders in Ramankary, Edathua, Chambakkulam, Neelamperoor and Kainakiry panchayats will be implemented through the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
A new project is envisaged to enhance the agricultural output of the lower Kuttanad region by undertaking various activities such as deepening of canals, construction of outer bunds and protection walls, and construction of engine floors and engine sheds in various paddy fields.
An amount of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked for the scheme. Another 54 crore is for enhancing rice production by minimising crop loss. Projects to mitigate the threat of flood will also be implemented,” the minister said in the speech.
However, the paddy farmers remain sceptical. Kerala State Nel-Nalikera Karshaka Federation state president Baby Parekadan said the budget has failed to address the fundamental issues of paddy farmers of Kuttanad.
“No steps have been announced to address the problems faced by the farmers in the procurement of paddy. The farmers have been asking the government to increase the paddy procurement price to Rs 30 per kg, but there is no announcement to this effect,” farm leader Baby Parekadan said.