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Kerala Government Steps Up to Support Struggling Cardamom Farmers

Kerala's government is implementing comprehensive measures to support cardamom farmers facing financial and agricultural challenges.

KJ Staff
Cardamom Farmers (Representational Image Source: Pexels)
Cardamom Farmers (Representational Image Source: Pexels)

In response to mounting challenges faced by cardamom growers in Kerala, the state government has initiated a comprehensive action plan aimed at alleviating their financial burdens and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan chaired a high-level virtual meeting to address critical issues such as loan repayment difficulties, shortage of planting material, and the development of alternative crop varieties.

The meeting, attended by state ministers P Prasad, K N Balagopal, and P Rajeev, focused on providing immediate and long-term solutions to the financial woes of cardamom farmers. One of the primary measures discussed was the implementation of a moratorium on existing loans. The government plans to hold talks with the state-level bankers' committee to facilitate this moratorium, potentially providing much-needed relief to the indebted farmers.

Additionally, the meeting explored extending the grace period for loan repayment and reducing the burden of interest payments. These measures aim to offer farmers more breathing room as they navigate the economic challenges exacerbated by fluctuating market conditions and environmental factors.

The issue of a shortage of planting material was another critical point of discussion. The government intends to collaborate with the Spices Board to address this problem, ensuring that farmers have access to high-quality planting materials. This initiative is expected to boost productivity and support the diversification of crops, enhancing the resilience of the agriculture sector.

Water availability, a perennial concern for cardamom growers, was also on the agenda. The government will explore utilizing laborers from the employment guarantee scheme to improve irrigation infrastructure, ensuring that water resources are effectively managed and accessible to farmers.

To provide comprehensive support, the state government will engage with both the Spices Board and the Central government to develop a practical model for crop insurance. This initiative aims to protect farmers from the financial risks associated with crop failure due to adverse weather conditions or pest infestations.

Furthermore, the chief minister has directed the state Agriculture Department to seek financial assistance from the State Disaster Response Fund. This fund could provide additional resources to support farmers in times of crisis, ensuring that they have the necessary financial backing to recover and sustain their livelihoods.

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