14th May, 2020, Kochi, Kerala
Shri V.S. Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala launched the “New Farming Challenge” by planting ginger saplings today.
The challenge has been started by the ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, Kerala in association with the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ernakulam among the Government Organizations towards food security. The model initiative includes farming of tubers and pulses along with vegetables in an area of around 3-acre barren land in its premises of residential complex in Kochi city.
The Minister also urged the KVK, Ernakulam for designing and demonstrating a working model of the mini rice mill required for each paddy field. He stressed that the medium paddy farmers in Kerala have been facing the major crisis of lack of such mini rice mills.
Shri Kumar also suggested the KVK to take-up the task on experimental basis with the support of the Farmers’ Producers’ Organizations (FPOs) associated with it. The Minister also accentuated on intensifying the efforts to take-up the farming as a livelihood for facing the post COVID-19 period. He urged the other Government Institutions to follow the ICAR-CMFRI’s model that would help in popularizing the farming in a better way.
In his address, Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, Director, ICAR-CMFRI highlighted the objective of the initiative that primarily aims to intensify the drive for achieving self-reliance in producing safe food in Kerala and setting a model for the other Government Institutions in the State. Dr. Gopalakrishnan emphasized on the priority that has been given to the crops, such as, tubers and pulses as they could act as alternates for surviving during the time of famine as that was the case in the past. He stressed that such kinds of farming models initiated under the aegis of the Government Institutions would send a positive message to the public for encouraging them to take up farming. The Director accentuated on the distribution of the harvested crops through the Farm Shoppe of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra located at the ICAR-CMFRI.
The farming that has been undertaken by the ICAR-CMFRI, Krishilokam Club that includes scientific and non-scientific staff of the Institute and their families, is a part of popularizing the concept of production of safe food through farming without depending on the others during the prevalence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The farming followed the mechanized practices for the preparation of the land under the KVK, Ernakulam’s technical guidance.
(Source: ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, Kerala)