KOCHI: Giving a big boost to the agriculture sector, the government has set aside Rs 879 crore to empower farmers. The schemes include constitution of a value- added agricultural mission, building infrastructure, promoting mechanised farming and startups and formation of a marketing firm.
The budget proposes to constitute Value-added Agricultural Mission to increase state’s domestic production from agricultural resources. As a part of this, five working groups will be constituted to formulate strategies. The working groups will formulate schemes and device an integrated scheme.
Seven Agritech facility centres will be established in seven districts to encourage value-added farming. These centres will be established in 5 to 10 acres of land owned by agriculture department These centres will be handed over to farmer collectives.
Services will be provided to farmers and farming initiatives on no-profit no-loss basis. Packing facilities including tetra packing of special value-added products, tools for examination and certification will be made available through these centres. The government has set aside Rs 175 crore as financial assistance for these service centres.
The government plans to create additional facilities for processing and value additions of agricultural resources. An amount of Rs 100 crore has been allocated from KIIFB for starting 10 Mini Food Parks having facilities to produce and market Kerala’s own produces.
A marketing company on the model of CIAL with a capital of Rs 100 crore will be established for improving marketing of value-added agricultural products with the cooperation of industrial and commercial entrepreneurs including expatriates. An amount of Rs 20 crore has been earmarked.
The finance minister allocated Rs 500 crore for providing subsidy to rubber farmers. Considering the crisis in the rubber sector, steps will be formulated to increase price, production and consumption of rubber simultaneously.
Rs 879 crore for agri sector
Subsidy for rubber: Rs 500 crore
Packing facility for farmers’ products: Rs 175 cr
10 mini food parks: Rs 100 crore
Rubberised roads: Rs 50 crore
Support from agri self help groups: Rs 25 crore
Agri marketing company: Rs 20 crore
Aid for KAMCO:Rs 5 crore
Farm visits abroad to study best practices: Rs 2 cr
Ethanol from tapioca: Rs 2 cr