1. Agriculture World

Kerala Agriculture Department to Convert Uncultivated Land into Vegetable farms

Nikita Arya
Nikita Arya

It is the times of lockdown that made the government of Kerala concerned about the self-sufficiency of food supplies. Recently, during a press conference, the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan underscored Kerala’s need to be self-sufficient with food supplies.

After a lot of meetings, Subiksha Keralam, a state-government led initiative to tackle the food shortage faced by Kerala, got finalized wherein fallow or uncultivated lands are getting converted into farmlands. 

Elaborating about the government’s concern, Dr. Vasuki, director of the Agriculture Department and former Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, said, “We are targeting around 25,000 hectares of fallow land to convert to farms. It is a convergence scheme – all departments converging together. We are creating good models of integrated farming so that expenditure is reduced and income is more.” 

According to Dr. Vasuki, the direct correlation between climate change and the coronavirus has not been addressed yet but it has not been ruled out either. “With climate change, temperatures increase and disease transmission patterns can change. The WHO has predicted this almost 10 years ago and that is what we are witnessing now. In such an unpredictable scenario, every community should be self-sufficient, otherwise, it is going to be a disaster,” added Dr. Vasuki. 

The project Subiksha Keralam is also opening avenues for employment to people such as farmers, youth, and other groups. Dr. Vasuki believes that this could be a great career for young people. She further emphasized on how attractive corporate culture often attracts youth but takes them away from nature, which is why people have caught lifestyle diseases. 

 “Agriculture is not just a career option but it also offers a better lifestyle. The exposure to sun and nature in itself has a healing effect. Jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities will be created in all four stages of production, harvest management, value addition and market,” she added. 

According to Horticorp (Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation) general manager Rajatha, 5,000 of the 25,000 hectares would be used for paddy, 7,000 for bananas, and the rest will be used for growing millets, fruits, tubers and varieties of beans. 

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