Okkal farm gears up for more visitors

The Okkal Seed Farm near Perumbavoor is now geared up to welcome more visitors and customers with facilities including a glass house that will display both vegetable seedlings and ornamental plants.

The 32-acre farm was opened in 1979 with the aim of providing paddy seedlings for three crop seasons. The place was chosen as it was close to the river Periyar and water availability was not much of a problem.

Over the years, however, the seed farm diversified into producing vegetable seedlings, including seedlings for cool season vegetables, pepper cuttings, coconut seedlings and ornamental plants. Agricultural department sources said that the seed farm now produced around one million vegetable seedlings per year while also producing about 40 tonnes of paddy seeds per season.

The major paddy seeds being produced at the farm include Manuratna, which has a short crop duration of about 105 days. The short crop season allows the farmers to take up three paddy crops a year as well as to use a brief period for vegetable cultivation, departmental sources said. The popular Uma variety of rice requires 120 to 130 days for harvest.

P. Prasad, Minister for Agriculture, inaugurated the new facilities, including a dedicated irrigation facility for the farm on Monday.

Departmental sources said one of the drawbacks of the seed farm, close to MC Road, was that it did not have high visibility. In order to rectify it, a gateway with high visibility has been built and a parking area too has been commissioned to allow more visitors.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 4:57:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/okkal-farm-gears-up-for-more-visitors/article37633946.ece

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