Agriculture World

All you need to know about Haritha Keralam Mission

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Last month, Thiruvananthapuram became the first district in Kerala to have a fully implemented ‘Pachathuruthu’ (green spot) scheme, the ambitious project of Haritha Keralam Mission which aims at promoting green spaces in the state to effectively combat climate change. Since the launch of the initiative, around 153 such spots have been planted in the district. Now, authorities are planning to plant 73 more by the end of this month. The plan is to set up a total of 226 green spaces in the district as part of the initiative.

Haritha Keralam is an umbrella Mission integrating the components of Waste Management, Organic Farming, Water Resources Management. It has an ambitious outlook to address the issues of piling waste, impending drought and health hazards due to the consumption of pesticide-treated vegetables and in general, the agricultural dependency of the State.

OBJECTIVES

  1.  Effective interventions for achieving self-sufficiency in the production of vegetables and other basic agro products such as paddy, fruits and similar food products.
  2. To encourage and emphasize organic farming by the way of encouraging compost manoeuvres in the domestic and institutional level as against chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This will also enhance the production of safe to eat food products.
  3. To encourage the spirit of farming in each household and also to utilize the barren lands for vegetation. Open spaces available in each locality shall be converted for vegetable farming and for other agricultural produces so as to optimize agricultural production as it is the backbone of our economy. The area of paddy cultivation shall also be extended to the possible limits.
  4. Marketing strategies have to be updated and fine-tuned in such a way that the farmers get the best prices for their products.
  5. Creating more employment opportunities in the Agricultural sector through profitable cultivation and by way of bringing out value-added products.
  6. To create an upsurge in the Agricultural sector which will give a boost to the State’s financial sector.
  7. Agricultural activities including the planting of multipurpose trees around the water bodies have to be strengthened. People’s enthusiasm towards vegetable farming and cultivation may be encouraged so that there will be more public participation in this sector.

ACTIVITIES

  1. The Mission will strive emphatically to bring maximum income to the small-time farmers who eke out a living exclusively from the agricultural products from the small tracks of land owned by them. A comprehensive farming initiative will be introduced by integrating various subsidiary agricultural activities such as animal husbandry, beekeeping, poultry farming, goat rearing, fish farming and so on in a mutually complementing manner.
  2. The extent of paddy cultivation land will be increased from two lakh hectors to 3 lakh hectors.
  3. Production and marketing of the value-added products of the major crops of Kerala such as paddy, coconut, vegetables, jackfruit, honey, will be done by establishing a chain of small and medium Agro parks.
  4. Automation and mechanization for farming and cultivation will be given importance and this will be made available in large scale to bring down the production cost.
  5. Cultivation in barren lands will be promoted with the active participation of Self-Help Groups (Swayam Sahaya Sangam) and Joint Loyalty groups.
  6. The projects put forth by different agencies and Govt departments will be effectively integrated so as to achieve the objectives of the Mission.
  7. The activities of the Agriculture Task Force (Karshika Karma Sena) will be strengthened in all the local self-governing institutions.
  8. The scope for loan facilities for Agriculture including organic farming will be exploited to the maximum in association with the cooperative sector. Marketing of the Agro products will also be facilitated.
  9. The quality and food safety of the Agro products in the State have to be monitored, improved and propagated. A proper marketing strategy has to evolve in order to attain these goals.

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