In a bid to minimise Kerala’s dependency on other states on agriculture products, the state government is coming up with five agro-ecological zones where agriculture and allied value-added products will be given a boost through 23 agro-ecological units.

Agriculture Minister P Prasad told the Kerala Assembly during the question hour on Tuesday that a scientific approach would be taken to promote farming of the right crops suited for the particular agro-ecological zones and climatic conditions.

“The government through its agencies will help the farmers in storage, procurement and distribution,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition MLAs pointed out that though Kerala was the first state in the country to fix the minimum support price (MSP) for vegetables, announcing the floor price for 16 varieties of fruits and vegetables, many farmers are yet to get the benefit.

They pointed out that even after close to ten months the farmers are yet to get the money for the vegetables procured by the government as part of the scheme.

Replying to it, the Agriculture Minister said that for new schemes there would be initial problems and efforts are being taken to address the issue.

“So far Rs 3.02 crore has been given to 2712 farmers in various districts in the financial year 2020-21. Another Rs 1.54 crore will be given to more than 2000 farmers shortly. As it is the scheme that is being implemented for the first time there may be some initial problems which can be addressed,” he said.

Prasad also said for the Onam festival government has given administrative sanction for Rs 21 crore to procure vegetables from farmers with a 10 per cent additional support price, which would be given to customers on 30 per cent less than the market price. (ANI)