KERALA

Changes in Land Reforms Act mooted

ALAPPUZHA JAN. 25. The Union Minister of State for Urban Development, O. Rajagopal, has called for giving a serious thought on whether timely changes should be incorporated in the Land Reforms Act.

Inaugurating a State level conference of paddy farmers organised by the Bharatiya Janata Karshaka Morcha here today, Mr. Rajagopal said though the land reforms move provided ownership to a large number of farmers, it did not address the future concerns in paddy cultivation. Many of those who gained title deeds did not seem to be interested in paddy cultivation now. Large areas of paddy fields were left fallow. The issue was how to ensure that real farmers retained the ownership of agricultural land, he said.

The Minister noted that in the present context, the idea of entrusting paddy fields to those who were interested in paddy cultivation for a fixed period should also be considered. It would be better than keeping the fields fallow, he said. According to him, the option of cultivating other profitable crops in paddy fields should also be considered. Floriculture and horticulture were found to be profitable now, he said.

Mr. Rajagopal said the total food grain production of the country had registered an upswing during the last few years.