Project to promote vegetable farming among dairy farmers

Milma is synonymous with milk and dairy products but Malayalis will soon identify the brand with fresh fruits and vegetables as well.

The Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Milma), through a Trust constituted under it called the Malabar Rural Development Foundation, opened its first vegetable and fruit outlet ‘Milma Green’ at Kottuli in the city on Monday. The outlet will sell over 70 varieties of vegetables.

This is part of a project being undertaken by the Trust to give a boost to domestic vegetable production in the State by promoting fruits and vegetable farming among dairy farmers, already under the Milma fold.

The Rs.5-crore pilot project, being undertaken by the Trust for the Agriculture Department envisages the procurement, value addition, and marketing of vegetables and fruits in the State.

The Trust is utilising the services of a group of dairy farmers in Wayanad initially for the project.

They are already growing a variety of vegetables in their fields.

The Trust will procure the produce of these farmers at Panamaram, Varadoor, and Vakeri and take it to the Milma Green outlet.

“We have already started procuring vegetables from select farmers to be marketed through our outlet,” said Milma General Manager K. Damodaran Nair, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Trust.

The farmers will get a relatively better rate for their produce than from local wholesale dealers.

As domestic farmers will not be able to provide all vegetables initially, the Trust will also purchase it from markets in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “Once the volume and variety increases domestically we will stop external purchase,” Mr. Nair said.

“Nadan (rustic) vegetable varieties produced by farmers will also be procured by the Trust. The Milma Green outlet was evoking a good response,” he said.

The Trust was planning to open more Milma Green outlets in the city. ‘Organic corners’ were also being planed, he said.

“This will provide a steady market for the produce of organic farmers the Malabar region,” Mr. Nair said.

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