Agriculture Minister Prasad, Kerala is considering using multiple farming systems in plantations

According to Minister of State for Agriculture P Prasad, the government is considering introducing a  system of multiple cropping to make Kerala a carbon-neutral state.   Addressing the annual meeting of the Farmers’ Association of Kerala (APK), the minister urged growers to adopt more value-added farm products to remain competitive. Crops can provide significant returns to a country’s economy.   He also assured that the farmers’ body will extend government support to the sector due to their significant demands.   K Mathew Abraham, vice-president of the United Planters Association of South India (Upasi), said he urged the government to give them the freedom to convert a large part of their cultivated land into alternative agriculture and other activities. Alternative crops provide financial sustainability when conventional crops do not perform well in the market. He recommended that a strong operational mechanism be introduced to integrate agroforestry in Kerala’s plantations to make the state a leading timber producer and exporter. It creates jobs, increases climate change, protects soil and water, and saves the country a huge exchange rate. He added that for the conservation and sustainability of plantations, more area would be allowed for tree plantations.  Outgoing president A K Jaleel said he urged the government to allow 30 percent of the plantation for cultivation of agricultural products and agroforestry. He added that such a move would make Kerala, a constant importer of fruits, vegetables, and grains, a self-sufficient state. He pointed out that scientific and technical research is the hourly need of the industry to increase productivity, for which the government should set up a special fund. The AGM elected Prince Thomas George Kana of  Devan Hills Plantations Co Ltd as the new Chairman of APK and T R Radhakrishnan of Aspinwall and Company as Vice Chairman.

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