‘Knowledge, art, and sweat for a better society,’ is the slogan of Niravu Vengeri, a progressive residential forum here. Exemplifying its motto is a new project, conceived by its farmers’ club with the help of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The project, titled ‘Village Livelihood Safety Programme,’ which was launched at Vengeri on Friday, by Ramesh Tenkil, Chief General Manager of NABARD, envisages producing items from vegetables to milk to spices at members’ backyards and marketing them through a centralised system. The programme has seven components, says District Panchayat Skill Development Centre chairman K. Sreedharan.

All the 101 residents who are members of the club will cultivate vegetables, organically, on the premises of their houses. Each resident will grow five varieties, says Babu Parambath, project coordinator. Ten neighbourhoods will keep dairy units, comprising three cows, for milk and manure. The cowshed will be set up with financial aid from NABARD. The cows will be purchased with low-interest loans from Canara Bank, which is also associating with the project.

All forum members will have either pipe or vermicompost units on their premises with assistance from the Corporation. Another component is mushroom cultivation units in 10 select houses.

There will be an outlet to sell the excess produce. “A vehicle will be purchased with financial assistance from NABARD to take the produce to different places. The outlet will be opened at Nadakkavu soon,” says Mr. Parambath. A seed and sapling nursery too is part of the project.

e-marketing of produce will be launched on the first day of Chingam, the Malayalam month. Prof. Sreedharan says the total estimate of the project is Rs.25 lakh, of which Rs.10 lakh will be given by NABARD as grant. The expected annual turnover of the project is Rs.1.5 crore,” he says.

“The uniqueness of the project is that it takes care of different phases in the production chain, from cultivation to marketing, flawlessly,” says K.P. Padmakumar, NABARD District Development Manager for Kozhikode and Malappuram. “The concept of joint liability group, ingrained in the project, will help it grow,” he adds.

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