Production touches 19,291 tonnes in 2013-14
The area under vegetable cultivation and the number of active farming clusters in the district have shown a considerable increase resulting in a striking increase in the total quantity of production in the last fiscal.
As per the official records of the District Agriculture Department, production of vegetables, which stood at 4,140 tonnes in 2011-12, witnessed a multi-fold rise in the last fiscal with production touching 19,291 tonnes with a steady increase in the area under cultivation. Total production in 2012-13 was 6,224 tonnes.
The area under vegetable farming is 1,677 hectares as per the consolidated figures released at the end of the last fiscal. In 2011-12, the area under vegetable cultivation was 460 hectares and in 2012-13, 707 hectares.
Farming clusters, comprising both women and men, played a crucial role in the change in the production scenario. At present, no fewer than 160 farming clusters — each with at least 20 to 30 members — are part of the farming network as against the 60 clusters when the project was formally launched in 2010-11.
“The situation in the district is truly an encouraging one as our efforts are finding results.
Currently, we have a highly industrious group of farmers, who find it as an opportunity to venture into monsoon, winter and summer vegetable farming,” says M. Abdul Latheef, Deputy Director of Agriculture.
He says that it is summer farming — approximately in 250 hectares – that tops the chart with high yield.Focus on marketing
The department is planning to invest more time and funds to strengthen the existing clusters with special focus on marketing of farm produce.
Efforts are on to form of a marketing system like that of the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council, Keralam.
In addition, 2014-15 will witness the formal enrolment of “ungraded clusters” — where individuals take-up small-scale farming without any external funding or support — with the approved farming clusters.
Such clusters will be eligible for a fund of Rs.30,000 under the new scheme.
Officials say that the project will contribute a great deal in supporting individual farming activities and indirectly result in the gradual increase in production.