Kerala

Kerala Assembly Elections | New government needs to ensure better infra for farmers

Mechanised paddy harvesting is in progress at a paddy field at Kannadi in Palakkad. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

From setting up cold storages to ensuring prices for crops to encourage young people to come into agriculture, farmers are placing a lot of expectations on the new government.

Dani Kurien, a nutmeg and tapioca farmer at Muvattupuzha, says the price of inputs such as fertilizers has gone up drastically. The cost of labour too has risen considerably. However, the price of produces has not gone up proportionately. The situation is such that farmers are forced to abandon more and more areas and depend on other means to make a living.

He says fruits such as jack and pineapple do not have much shelf life. If the government establishes a chain of storage facility, it would be possible for farmers to keep them and sell at the right time to get remunerative prices.

Govt. help sought

Joel Nellikunnel, a pineapple farmer, says the government should step in when the farmers are in serious trouble. Farmers are unable to plant their crops with the hope of a steady price. A pineapple plant costs about ₹56 for it to be harvested with about two kg of fruit. However, seasonal variations, heavy rain and even outside events such as transport strike affect the farmers’ income.

Joseph Karukappally, who cultivates a variety of crops, including areca, says the government should come out with a clear policy on various issues, including land use and support for the farmers.

Babu Joseph, a coconut farmer and part of a committee to promote Neera in Kanjirappally, says both coconut and paddy cultivation is in a big crisis in the State. While the Rubber Board being almost disbanded, rubber farmers are in serious trouble now. The new government should be able to help provide remunerative price for the produce ranging from paddy to tapioca. He says farmers are at the receiving end of rules and regulations that include handling of wild animals. Attack by wild boars has made cultivation of any crops difficult in areas neighbouring the forests on the Western Ghats.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 12:23:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/new-govt-needs-to-ensure-better-infra/article34164470.ece

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