Floriculture centre to be opened in Wayanad

A Centre of Excellence for Vegetables and Flowers being established at Ambalavayal in Wayanad district with technical guidance from the Dutch government is set to be inaugurated on November 5.

Coming up on the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Ambalavayal campus, with technical hand-holding under the Indo-Dutch Joint Action Plan, the centre is expected to turn full-fledged over the next one year, Agriculture Department officials said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will formally inaugurate the centre at a virtual conclave on November 5. Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar and senior functionaries of the Government of the Netherlands will attend the function.

Envisaged under the State Horticulture Mission (SHM), the centre is being established at a cost of ₹13 crore, of which ₹4.2 crore will come as central share. In the first phase, open-field precision farming of vegetables and flowers, production and distribution of quality planting materials to farmers and training programmes are planned, department officials said.

Considering the special climatic conditions of Wayanad, there will be special focus on capsicum, tomato and cucumber and flowers such as chrysanthemum and gerbera.

Calling the centre a dream project for the State, Agriculture Minister V. S. Sunil Kumar said the State government expects to tap the expertise of the Netherlands in vegetable and flower cultivation for the benefit of farmers in Kerala.

“'A tissue culture laboratory has been set up as part of the project for producing good quality planting materials. The idea is to transform Wayanad into a hub of floriculture,” Mr. Sunil Kumar told The Hindu.

The centre will have five Netherlands-model polyhouse nurseries and four Indian model polyhouses for large-scale production of flowers and distribution of quality seeds and transplants to farmers. Other infrastructure includes model open-field farms and a post-harvest technology centre showcasing post-harvest handling, storage and marketing of produce for the benefit of farmers.

Further, the Centre will offer regular training programmes for farmers, entrepreneurs and extension officers, and also explore possibilities in agri-horti tourism in Wayanad district.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:57:00 PM |

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