The launching of the Hi-tech Farming Project will be a clarion call for sweeping changes in the agriculture sector, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Wednesday.

He was speaking after inaugurating the government's Hi-tech Farming Project, to be implemented across the State, at the Santhigiri Ashram, a release quoted him as saying.

He commended Finance Minister K.M. Mani for allocating a sum of Rs.45 crore for the project in the 2012-13 budget.

At the event, Mr. Mani laid the foundation stone for a greenhouse for the State's first high-tech farming unit to be set up at the Santhigiri Ashram.

The project is jointly implemented by the State government, Agriculture Department, and the State Horticultural Mission to train farmers in high-tech farm techniques which would help them cut down production cost by 50-75 per cent, the release said.

Technology

This was done by using latest technology to deliver pesticides, manure, and water in precisely controlled amounts, and by growing in controlled, closed environments such as a green house.

This would also enable the farmers to grow high value crops such as lettuce, celery, strawberries, and exotic flowers.

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