May 22, 2022

Kerala Department of Agriculture Seeks to Review Implementation of Projects in Agriculture Sector

According to a draft annual plan for 2022-23, the focus will be on increasing farmers’ productivity and incomes through the adoption of technologies and the development of strong marketing networks, while remaining true to the concept agriculture in harmony with nature.

According to a draft annual plan for 2022-23, the focus will be on increasing farmers’ productivity and incomes through the adoption of technologies and the development of strong marketing networks, while remaining true to the concept agriculture in harmony with nature.

Learning lessons from consecutive natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture is seeking to review how programs and projects are implemented in the state’s agricultural sector.

In FY 2022-23, the focus will be on increasing farmers’ productivity and incomes through the adoption of technologies and the development of strong marketing networks, while remaining true to the concept of agriculture in harmony with nature, according to the draft annual plan for 2022-23 drawn up by the department.

The number of regimes will be reduced to 12 to improve implementation efficiency. Most of the projects are expected to be implemented in convergence with those of the Local Government Department (LSGD) on a 50% fund sharing basis.

Major spending proposals include ₹324.28 crore for area expansion of all major crops, ₹127 crore for rice development, ₹53 crore for vegetable production, ₹14.5 crore for fruit and ₹48.9 crore for the coconut sector.

cafeteria model

Projects will be implemented on a flexible “cafeteria model” allowing interchangeability of sub-components within programs with respect to requirements based on Agricultural Ecological Units (AEUs). More emphasis will be placed on integrated farming methods, value addition and marketing. Schemes based on agro-ecological zones (ZEA) are planned to avoid adverse effects on the agricultural sector, according to the department.

The devastating impact of natural calamities and the pandemic on the agricultural sector and food security highlights the importance of food self-sufficiency and farming in harmony with nature, the project notes. Bearing this in mind, the 2022-23 plan aims to address “the problems of the agricultural sector by incorporating the ideas of real farmers”.

The state’s productivity per hectare for paddy, coconut, vegetables, fruits and nutrients is lower than southern states and the national average, the project says, citing 2017-2018 figures .

Low productivity, coupled with fluctuating prices, has led to a gradual reduction in farmers’ incomes, he noted.

Among other things, the department also hopes to eliminate duplication of vegetable acreage expansion programs carried out by various agencies under its and the LSGD.