Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan said Kerala would become an organic farming State by 2016.

Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan has said the State will become self-sufficient in vegetable production by April.

Presiding over a three-day workshop for farm journalists (Akshara Kathir) organised by the Farm Information Bureau at Malampuzha on Friday, he said Kerala would become an organic farming State by 2016.

Every taluk would have agriculture marketing and processing centres to help farmers. To help coconut farmers, the government had procured raw coconut at Rs.27 a kg, which helped improve its market price.

He said 15 lakh high-yielding dwarf variety coconut saplings would be distributed to the farmers in three years.

In his inaugural address, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said Kerala was not producing even one-fourth of its requirement of rice. Paddy fields were vanishing due to large-scale reclamation for other purposes.

The law brought in to prevent land reclamation by the previous Left Democratic Front government had not been implemented properly, he said.

K.V. Vijayadas, MLA, K.R. Jyothy Lal, Agriculture Secretary, A.N. Sashi, Animal Husbandry Director, K.T. Sarojini, Director, Dairy Development, R. Ajithkumar, Director, Agriculture, and K.K. Sobhana, principal agriculture officer, among others, addressed the meeting.

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