Farmers’ SHGs poised for growth

Staff Reporter

Sales of the farmers’ market topped Rs.11 crore in Ernakulam last fiscal

KOCHI: Farmers’ self-help groups and Swasraya Vipanies, markets established and run by farmers under the aegis of the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK), continue to make their presence felt in the State.

The sales of the farmers’ market topped Rs.11 crore during the last financial year in Ernakulam district.

There are 17 such markets in the district through which 11,365 tonnes of vegetables were sold during the last financial year.

Land, building

Twelve of the markets have been provided with land and building by the VFPCK at Kakkad, Kadungalloor, Kurumassery, Edakkattuvayal, Thiruvaniyur, Mazhuvannoor, Malayattoor, Kunnukara, Thuravoor, Vengola, Nedungapara, Koovappady, Mookannur, Kanjur, Elanji, Puthenvelikkara and Vazhakkulam.

The VFPCK programme has been extended to 55 panchayats in the district covering 9,540 farmers spread over 499 farmers’ self-help groups. The market at Mazhuvannoor accounted for nearly Rs.2 crore of the sale during the last financial year.

Major crops

The major crops cultivated include banana, pineapple, bitter gourd, cowpea, snake gourd, lady’s finger, cucumber, ash gourd, snap melon, elephant-foot yam and tapioca.

Last year, a sum of Rs.6.3 crore was disbursed as loans to the farmers under the VFPCK programme.

Interest subsidy given to the farmers for prompt repayment was Rs.3.7 lakh, while Rs.15.2 lakh was given as crop insurance.

Mediclaim policy covers 2,076 farmers under the VFPCK programme in the district and Mediclaim disbursals stood at Rs.6.1 lakh. The VFPCK produced and distributed 23.3 tonnes of vegetable seeds last year and 1.3 tonnes were distributed in Ernakulam district alone.

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