Kerala

Adequate supply of vegetablesbeing ensured: Minister

The State is looking at long-term measures for ensuring adequate supply of vegetables from neighbouring States to keep prices down, according to Minister for Agriculture P. Prasad.

Discussions will be held soon with the Agriculture Ministers of southern States in this regard, Mr. Prasad said here on Wednesday. The government is aiming for direct purchases from vegetable farmers in those States by avoiding middlemen. This is designed to be a long-term mechanism rather than a short-term measure to overcome the present price rise, he added.

A high-level meeting is scheduled with Tamil Nadu Agriculture department officials on Thursday for sourcing vegetables from Tenkasi district, the Minister said. The Kerala side will be represented by top officials of the State Agriculture Department and the Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp), he said.

As a market intervention measure, Horticorp is already making direct purchases from Tirunelveli and Mysuru.

A collection point will be set up at Tenkasi, from where the vegetables would be transported to Kerala. Preliminary discussions were held between Horticorp and Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department officials last week. Kerala hopes to retain the collection point as a permanent arrangement.

The Agriculture Department has also assigned four officials the task of coordinating the efforts with four southern States, Mr. Prasad said.

“The government is making all-out efforts to ensure vegetable supplies by avoiding middlemen on a permanent basis. At the same time, the present crisis underscores for farming to be widely popularised in the State to achieve self-sufficiency,” Mr. Prasad said.

Within the State, the Agriculture Department plans to enter into a tripartite agreement involving vegetable farmers and banks to curb the exploitation of farmers in Vattavada and Kanthaloor in Idukki by outside agencies, the Minister said. This arrangement will also guarantee a fair price to the farmers for their produce, he said.

The department will arrange collection points, storage facilities and refrigerated trucks under this initiative, the Minister said.

Vegetable shortages triggered by the heavy rainfall and floods in neighbouring States reveal the extent of the threat posed by climate change and global warming to the farm sector, he said.


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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 4:48:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/adequate-supply-of-vegetablesbeing-ensured-minister/article37788976.ece

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