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Promotion of Organic and Natural Farming to Benefit Kerala: Expert

P.Indira Devi, Director (Agri expert), Kerala State Farmers Welfare Board said that the program to promote organic, natural and other eco-friendly farming methods are beneficial for Kerala both for the domestic market as well as global spices trade. Details Inside!

Ayushi Raina
To promote organic, natural and other eco-friendly farming methods benefits Kerala both in the domestic market and in the global spice trade
To promote organic, natural and other eco-friendly farming methods benefits Kerala both in the domestic market and in the global spice trade

According to P. Indira Devi, Director (Agri expert), Kerala State Farmers Welfare Board, the initiative to promote organic, natural and other eco-friendly farming methods benefits Kerala both in the domestic market and in the global spice trade. 

There are currently several instances of trade prohibitions owing to chemical residues. Agriculture in Kerala is distinct from the rest of India, with a higher proportion of plantation and horticultural crops, and its ecological relevance is also prominent. Furthermore, she stated that people's socioeconomic characteristics contribute to the need for high-quality food and the environment. 

Presenting the Budget 2022-23 in Parliament, Sitharaman said the inclusive development is one of the four priorities of the government moving forward. 

Application of Drones 

She went on to say that the decision to promote the use of drones in the application of pesticides and other chemicals is concerning because of previous aerial spraying of cashew farms in Kasaragod and the accompanying health issues. 

Given the vast network of water bodies and densely packed fields and human settlements in Kerala, the protocol for aerial spray has to be thoroughly standardized for different chemicals. 

She stated that the specific mention of enabling agroforestry systems as a form of climate change management may be accessed by the State for its unique household farming systems. 

Support for oil seeds and millets may also be efficiently used for the state's principal crop coconut and expanding area under traditional millets, particularly in Attappadi districts where there is currently a program in place, she noted. 

She believes that if MSP coverage had been expanded to more crops, it would have assisted in encouraging sustainability and agricultural income diversification. 

Key Announcements: 

States will also be encouraged to update agricultural universities curricula to meet the demands of natural zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture, value addition, and management, FM stated.

Concerning agri-crop procurement, the FM stated that the government's acquisition of wheat and paddy at the minimum support price (MSP) in 2021-22 will include 1,208 lakh tonnes from 163 lakh farmers. "The direct payment of MSP value to their accounts would be Rs.2.37 lakh crore," she added. 

Since 2023 has been designated as the International Year of Millets, the FM stated that the government will provide post-harvest assistance in order to increase domestic consumption of millet goods globally. 

The FM also stated that the government will implement policies and make the necessary legal adjustments to encourage agroforestry and private forestry. 

Furthermore, financial assistance would be offered to farmers from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who choose to engage in agroforestry, she added. 

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