Kerala Govt to form Agro-Business Company for procuring, processing, marketing of farm products
Alappuzha: Aiming at a major leap in the agriculture sector, the state government is planning to form Kerala Agro-Business Company (KABCO). The company will deal with procuring, processing and marketing of the farm products.
A 11-member committee was formed to decide on the modus operandi of the company. The final decision will be taken after considering the opinion of farmers, said Minister for Agriculture P Prasad in a press meet.
The company will get assistance from professionals. With this, it will be easier to sell the products of farmers both inside and outside the state. They would not have to struggle to find market. Procuring of paddy will not be entrusted with new company and the present system will be continued.
The state is acquiring self-sufficiency in vegetable production. Upto 16 lakh tonnes of vegetables are produced every year. The facility to preserve the vegetables and fruits for a longer period also will be set up soon. More agro-parks will be set up.
This year, 100 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) will be formed. The agriculture department has successfully implemented five projects included in the 100-day action plan of the government, the minister added.
From next financial year onwards, the state will be divided into five agro-ecological zones containing 23 units. Farming methods will be adopted according to the soil type, weather condition and other features of each area. This will ensure better yield.
The agriculture officers will be appointed as per the farming method adopted in each region and Krishi Bhavans will be switched to smart mode. With this, the officials will be able to spend more time with the farmers. They agriculture officer’s role will be switched to ‘agriculture doctor’. Youth, women and NRIs will be included in farm groups.
The farmers will be given a unified identity number and smart card. They are directed to produce several documents while applying for each schemes. The minister added that an alternative for grow bags should be found out as it is harmful for the environment, the minister said.