Kerala promotes carbon neutral agriculture, says minister

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Agriculture Minister P. Prasad said here on Tuesday that Kerala was among the first states to promote carbon neutral agriculture. Organic farming practices have been undertaken at Aluva’s State Seed Farm for the past 10 years, he said.

The Minister was speaking at a consultative meeting here at the Ernakulam Town Hall to launch the ‘Njangalum Krishiyilekku’ (We are also taking agriculture) campaign across the state to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable production. Cultivation of vegetables and other crops will be resumed as part of the campaign. Officials from Agriculture and Soil Conservation Departments of Ernakulam, Thrissur and Alappuzha attended the meeting.

The main objective of the campaign was to achieve sufficient local production of vegetables to ensure healthy eating habits, health maintenance and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases, Prasad added.

He said farmers should be regarded as gods and farmers who approached Krishi Bhavans (farm offices) should not be turned away. Offices should explore ways to support farmers and help them live with dignity, he added.

The campaign aims to get everyone into farming, identify fallow land and encourage all families to take up organic farming. The campaign will not be limited to the Department of Agriculture and will concern all other departments.

Providing quick services, forming groups of farmers, expanding the area under cultivation and finding effective ways to market agricultural products were other goals of the project, a communication here says. Product marketing will include online spaces. It is expected that approximately one million job opportunities could be created through these efforts.

Krishi Bhavans would be ranked according to their performance and the best among them would be recognized for their achievements, the communication adds. Agriculture Production Commissioner Ishita Roy, Agriculture TV Director Subhash and Additional Secretary Sabeer Hussain were among those who spoke.

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