The public sector units under the Agriculture Department, which operate on commercial basis, made a total profit of Rs. 217 crore during the past four years.

Minister for Agriculture Mullakkara Ratnakaran told a press conference here on Thursday that the Kerala Agro-machinery Corporation, Plantation Corporation of Kerala, Oil Palm India and State Farming Corporation increased their profits while the Kerafed, State Warehousing Corporation and the State Agro-industries Corporation turned the corner, posting profits during the past four years.

The State Horticulture Products Development Corporation and Vegetable and Fruits Promotion Council-Keralam, which made losses, were not working on commercial basis, the Minister said. The Kerala Agro-fruit Products at Punalur restarted operations last month.

Mr. Ratnakaran said that the Kerala Agro-machinery Corporation, Plantation Corporation of Kerala, Oil Palm India and State Farming Corporation had no accumulated losses. The government had written off interests on loans from the Government to enable the Kerafed to come out of red.

He announced that an agri-super bazaar would be inaugurated here on June 23 for supply of modern agriculture machinery, agriculture implements, seeds, fertilizers, seedlings, spare parts and value added agriculture products. The tractor unit of the Agro-machinery Corporation at Athani would start functioning by the end of this year.

The unit would produce tractors with horse power of 18 with Italian collaboration.

He said that the Kerafed was setting up facilities for production of coconut cream and desiccated coconut at Karunagappally in Kollam district as part of diversification. Other projects such as production of virgin coconut oil and processing of coconut wood for making furniture was on the anvil.