Minister for Agriculture Mullakara Ratnakaran has stressed the need to promote homestead cultivation to revive the agriculture sector in urban areas.

The Minister was delivering the inaugural address at a function organised by the City Corporation to distribute saplings of drumstick and curry leaf to selected households.

Mr. Ratnakaran said homestead farming would help to retain the city’s dwindling green cover and inculcate a love for farming in the younger generation.

A model farm set up by the Department of Agriculture in the city would be inaugurated later this month. A programme to promote homestead cultivation would be implemented in collaboration with the Kerala Agricultural University. “Our objective is to ensure that every house will have at least a small cultivated plot.”

Mr.Ratnakaran said the major portion of the vegetables sold through the outlets of the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Kerala (VFPCK) in Thiruvananthapuram during the Onam season were produced in the district itself.

Mayor C. Jayan Babu presided over the function. MLA V. Sivankutty, Chairman of the standing committee on Development K.O. Asokan, UDF council party leader Johnson Joseph and councillor Biju Harikumar were present.

The distribution of saplings has been taken up under the People’s Plan Campaign for the year 2009-10 with the support of the Department of Agriculture. As many as 2500 families will be given two saplings each of drumstick and curry leaves. The programme seeks to make the city self-sufficient in the two species in the next two years.

The Corporation has enlisted the support of residents associations, Kudumbasree units and other voluntary agencies for the programme.