The government has set a vegetable output target of 3.25 lakh tonnes for the current year, Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Rathnakaran told the Assembly on Friday.

Responding to a calling attention motion from Raju Abraham (CPI-M), the Agriculture Minister said the government was promoting vegetable cultivation in 12,000 hectare area and had pumped in Rs. 11.25 crores for the purpose.

The Agriculture Department had distributed 10,000 vegetable seed packets and saplings through the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council of Kerala (VFPCK). Around 150 panchayats were actively involved in vegetable cultivation, he said.

The Minister said the State was able to increase its vegetable production by roughly 40,000 tonnes last year. One major problem that the State faced related to the inability to route the vegetables grown in Idukki and Palakkad districts to the other parts of the State.

As of now, vegetables from these prime growing areas were going to Tamil Nadu or elsewhere. Steps would be taken to ensure that the vegetables grown within the State was available for domestic consumption, he said.