Pokkali farmer producer company on the anvil

March 27, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:49 am IST - KOCHI:

Following the success of the Pokkali Farmers’ Easter Fish Market organised jointly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra-Ernakulam of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and Kadamakkudy grama panchayat on Saturday, the Institute plans to use KVK to rejuvenate pokkali farming system and to create brand value for pokkali rice and fish.

“The first step is to form a pokkali farmer producer company and nurture it so that it is capable of doing farming and product marketing on a commercial scale,” said an official statement from the CMFRI here. The KVK has funds from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and is in the process of identifying prospective farmer partners to form the company.

This would be one of the 2,000 farmer producer companies that the government of India has planned across the country, said the statement.

Subsequently, the existing sales counter functioning at the CMFRI building located near Marine Drive in the city would be developed and relocated to sell authentic safe-to-eat produce, including pokkali rice, fish and rice derivatives.

CMFRI director A. Gopalakrishnan said it was sad that the area under pokkali rice cultivation was declining even as Kerala was supporting organic farming. He was inaugurating the fish harvesting programme on Saturday. He said agricultural technologies should be market-oriented so that farmers would benefit.

Michael Vedasiromani, managing director, Marketfed; Salini Babu, president of Kadamakkudy grama panchayat; and Sona Jayaraj, district panchayat member, were among those present.

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