Staff Reporter

Market value-added products, says Minister

Use of integrated agricultural practices sought

Kozhikode: Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran said that the government will take steps to solve the problems being faced by coconut farmers.

The Minister was speaking at a meeting of farmers, representatives of farmer organisations, and people’s representatives, on the problems faced by coconut farming sector in the district. The meeting was organised by the district panchayat at Koothali Farm in the district on Thursday.

The Minister asked experts in the Agriculture Department and Kerala Agriculture University to conduct a detailed study after visiting the areas in the district where bud rot disease has affected coconut trees and submit a report.

The Minister said that if the district panchayat came forward with a comprehensive project on marketing value-added coconut products, the government would consider sanctioning the project. All grama panchayats in the district should be given participation in the project.

The Minister informed the meeting that the demand of people’s representatives and farmers that the amount sanctioned for coconut trees affected by diseases should be increased, would be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting. The Minister said that the farmers have to adopt integrated agricultural practices in order to control diseases affecting crops.

Cooperation sought

They should cooperate with the Agriculture Department in this regard, he said.

Peelicode Agriculture Research Centre assistant director Balakrishnan, P.Viswan, MLA, District Panchayat president K.P. Kunahammedkutty and vice-president V. Kunhali were among those who participated in the meeting.