The Kudumbasree Mission will initiate 15,000 women farmers, from its 2,000 groups in the district, into group farming as part of a Central government scheme to ensure food security.
The women farmers are organised under the Mahila Kisan Shakthikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) of the Union government.
Already, 1,600 women groups in 42 grama panchayats of the district had been brought under three clusters by the Kudumbasree Mission for the MKSP scheme, according to Kudumbasree Mission District Coordinator Saidalavi.
The Kudumbasree groups would identify the land for cultivation, select the suitable crop, and implement indigenous farming practices. The farming group would also identify the fertilizer and pesticides to be used for a particular crop in a location on the basis of soil and climatic conditions, he said.
The group would put to use traditional wisdom and knowledge in the selection of crops, fertilizers, and pesticides. Accordingly, the women farmers would take up paddy cultivation in the Alathur area. Banana would be grown in the Mannarkkad area and mixed crops, including 18 types of vegetables, in the Palakkad area, Mr. Saidalavi said. They would try to grow tapioca in the Tharoor area.
As many 27 tribal groups in the Attappady block had taken up banana cultivation. They had also been growing medicinal plants, the coordinator said. Each farmers' group would get a loan of up to Rs.1 lakh at 4 per cent interest.
They would be trained by experts. The farmers would get subsidy on fertilizer and seeds. The Kudumbasree Mission would provide them area and productivity incentives too.
The scheme intended to empower women through agriculture when the male population was migrating to urban areas, Mr. Saidalavi said.