1. Agriculture World

Kerala Forest Development Corporation Switches to Organic to Produce Cash Crops

Currently, the company produces approximately six tonnes of this wildlife-friendly organic material, which it intends to market under the brand name Vanopahar. With more people interested in environmentally friendly products, KFDC intends to sell all of its products, including black pepper and tea, on Amazon, FlipKart, and other online marketplaces.

Shivam Dwivedi
Prakriti Srivastava, Managing Director, Kerala Forest Development Corporation (Pic Credit-The Hindu)
Prakriti Srivastava, Managing Director, Kerala Forest Development Corporation (Pic Credit-The Hindu)

Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) is looking into new ways to sell the spices it produces in domestic and international markets, including organic cardamom. "We have taken the e-commerce route to market the organic cardamom cultivated in the forest lands of Munnar, Gavi, and Nelliampathy divisions, for which a new packaging design has been created," said Prakriti Srivastava, Managing Director of KFDC.

Currently, the company produces approximately six tonnes of this wildlife-friendly organic material, which it intends to market under the brand name Vanopahar. With more people interested in environmentally friendly products, KFDC intends to sell all of its products, including black pepper and tea, on Amazon, FlipKart, and other online marketplaces.

"Market expansion will go a long way toward improving the livelihoods of forest communities living in KFDC locations." It will assist us in overcoming the inherent challenges of gaining access to a national market and ensuring a better income for the beneficiary communities," she said.

Tribal workers and people who were previously repatriated from Sri Lanka under the Shastri-Srimavo pact are now engaged in organic farming with technical assistance from the Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI) and scientific input from the Kerala Forest Research Institute.

Role of ICRI:

ICRI has developed an organic cultivation package that includes high-yielding tillers for planting as well as organic pesticides and fungicides. ICRI will soon provide training, marketing support, and assistance in obtaining organic certification, she said.

The wildlife-friendly certification process is nearing completion, which will aid in projecting the strong conservation measures implemented even while cultivating products. This will also help you get a better market price for your product. KFDC has discontinued the use of all chemical pesticides and fertilizers in all plantation activities involving cash crops such as cardamom, coffee, and pepper.

"We are also moving forward with a proposal to establish a green tea producing unit in Mananthavady, Wayanad," she said, adding that "online sales of more forest products, such as coffee beans and sandalwood, will be launched soon."

A proposal for scientific honey beekeeping was submitted to the Agriculture Department to improve livelihoods and empower women in the KFDC communities of Gavi and Mananthavady.

In addition, KFDC intends to establish 266 hectares of new plantations (plantings and coppice) this year, where teak, bamboo, Melia dubia, and other indigenous species will be planted. Currently, the corporation cultivates cash crops on 2,000 hectares and eucalyptus, acacia, teak, allanthus, and other trees on another 7,000 hectares.

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