Special Correspondent

District panchayat links cultivators with agriculture experts

A support mechanism for the Samagra Rural Business Hub scheme

Kerala Agriculture University and the Department of Agriculture to provide expertise

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Farmers in the district will soon have access to modern technology that can provide them with the latest information on improving agricultural yield and analysing market trends.

The district panchayat has joined hands with the Kudumbasree Mission to set up a network of Village Knowledge Centres for farm extension activities. The project constitutes a support mechanism for the Samagra Rural Business Hub scheme aimed at promoting banana cultivation and production of value-added products.

Farmers can make use of the video-conferencing facility provided by the IT Mission at these centres to interact with agricultural experts and seek advice on cultivation practices, disease prevention and pest control and market intervention methods.

District coordinator of the Kudumbasree Mission L. Ravikumar said the video-conferencing facility would be introduced in the Perungadavila, Nedumangad and Kilimanoor block panchayats in the first phase. “It is a hi-tech version of the Lab to Land programme. On a predetermined date, experts from Kerala Agriculture University and the Department of Agriculture would assemble at the district panchayat office to field questions from farmers sitting at the block panchayat offices.”

The network will be extended to 10 more block panchayats soon. The video-conferencing system has been designed to double up as a district-level review and monitoring system for Plan projects.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac will inaugurate the video-conferencing facility of Samagra at a function to be held at the district panchayat on Wednesday. Food Minister C. Divakaran is scheduled to release a brochure on the scheme. District panchayat president Anavoor Nagappan will preside over the function.

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