Kerala Department of Agriculture Seeks to Review Project Implementation in Agriculture Sector

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According to a draft annual plan for 2022-2023, the focus will be on increasing the productivity and income of farmers through the adoption of technologies and the development of strong marketing networks, while remaining true to the concept. of agriculture in harmony with nature.

Drawing lessons from the chain of natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture seeks to overhaul the way in which devices and projects are implemented in the agricultural sector of the State.

In fiscal year 2022-2023, the focus will be on increasing the productivity and income of farmers through the adoption of technology and the development of robust marketing networks, while remaining true to the concept. of agriculture in harmony with nature, according to the draft annual plan for 2022-23 established by the department.

The number of devices will be reduced to 12 to improve the efficiency of the implementation. Most projects should be implemented in convergence with those of the Department of Local Self-Government (LSGD) on the basis of a 50% share of funds.

Major spending proposals include ₹ 324.28 crore for area expansion for all major crops, 127 crore for rice development, 53 crore for vegetable production, 14.5 crore for fruit and ₹ 48 , 9 crore for the coconut sector.

Cafeteria model

Projects will be implemented on a flexible ‘cafeteria model’ allowing interchangeability of sub-components within programs with regard to requirements based on Agricultural Ecological Units (AEUs). More emphasis will be placed on integrated farming methods, value addition and marketing. Systems based on agro-ecological zones (ZAE) are planned to avoid adverse effects on the agricultural sector, according to the department.

The devastating impact of natural disasters and the pandemic on the agricultural sector and food security underscores the importance of food self-sufficiency and agriculture in harmony with nature, the project notes. Bearing this in mind, the 2022-2023 plan aims to solve “the problems of the agricultural sector by integrating the ideas of real farmers”.

The state’s productivity per hectare of paddy, coconuts, vegetables, fruits and nutrients is lower than that of the southern states and the national average, according to the project, citing figures from 2017-18.

Low productivity, coupled with price fluctuations, has led to a gradual reduction in farmers’ incomes, he noted.

Among other things, the department also hopes to eliminate the duplication of the extension programs of market gardening areas carried out by various agencies under its aegis and by the LSGD.

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