Having tasted success with vegetable cultivation, school students from the district will now focus on farming in fallow lands.

Select volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in the district are preparing to promote this new initiative under the Agriculture Literacy project. The district has been chosen for this pilot project, which is being implemented through the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board and Agri-friends, a community of agriculture enthusiasts.

Inaugurating the project here on Saturday, Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar said the younger generation should be encouraged to take up such activities. He also released the logo of the project and felicitated 25 farmers from the district in recognition of their service to society.

NSS volunteers from 25 select Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary schools in the district will receive the first lessons in agriculture literacy at a three-day workshop to be held in the coming months. Experts, agriculture scientists, farm journalists, and farmers will interact with the students through these workshops.

The members will take up farming on five hectares of land with the help of the Agriculture Department, which will also offer a subsidy of Rs.30,000 for one hectare. Apart from this, the department will also offer a financial assistance of Rs.5,000 for schools that take up cultivation on more than10 cents of land.

Programme diary

S. Jaya Kumar of Agri-friends says the team will prepare a specialised programme diary, agriculture-survey materials, and guide books to help the students get a better understanding of the programme.

The activities will be closely associated with the Agriculture Department, other governmental agencies such as Kudumbasree and various residents’ associations. The project also includes organising exhibition of cultivated agriculture products through agri-fests and exhibitions.