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Friday, April 13, 2012

Agri gets priority in Kerala

It is encouraging to see that the Kerala government is giving agriculture a much needed boost. Although a significant amount of funding is being allocated to various agri related activities, it remains to be seen how well these plans transform into execution. It is unfortunate that a state like Kerala which enjoys abundant natural resources, still lags in the agri rankings. Hopefully, these plans will help the state in realizing its full potential.

"Revival of the agriculture sector is one of the thrust areas in the state budget for 2012- 13 moved by Finance Minister K.M.Mani in the Assembly on Monday.
In his budget presentation, Mr.Mani has earmarked Rs.100 crore for an integrated agricultural development scheme to improve the production of paddy, vegetables and tuber crops. Declaring tender coconut water as the official drink of Kerala, he announced a scheme to make coconut farming remunerative by grouping coconut farmers into societies.
The budget proposes the adoption of high tech methods to combat climate change and ensure higher productivity and better quality of agricultural produce. It has allocated Rs.10 crore for the establishment of rice bio parks to boost paddy production in Alappuzha and Palakkad districts."

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  1. Most Keralites being educated, have other sources of income and are not so directly dependent on agriculture. Most people have income from salary, investments, cash crops (rubber, etc), foreign remittances, business, etc. Hence agriculture is not so high a priority.
    Example: My cousin has a few acres in Kuttanad, which she cultivates rice once a year to yield about 15-25k profit per acre per year. But her husband has a good transport biz and therefore this agro income is not so essential.
    But she keeps cultivating as it is inherited ancestral property which she wants to keep intact for her children. So cultivating something every year ensures that the land is used and no encroachments take place. After all the land is worth crores per acre.

    1. Yes, most Keralites are educated but that is all the more reason Agri should be done in a more scientific manner. I guess, the huge expat segment is one factor, coupled with unavailability of labour is the reason for decline. Most farm owners on TN-Kerala border send their vehicles over to TN every morning to fetch labour for their farms.