Thiruvananthapuram: The State government plans to encourage high-tech farming to increase agriculture production in the state, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here.
Speaking at the state level agriculture development Committee meeting, Chandy said when states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have excelled in high-tech farming, Kerala was far behind in this kind of agriculture methods.
Though this kind of agriculture method received Central subsidy and loan facilities which required only very little investment and land, people were not coming forward into this field, he pointed out.
However, now more youths were coming to take up farming work and in view of this, government has decided to encourage this type of farming method, he said. Stressing the importance of organic farming, he said the state would come out with a policy in this regard.
Both paddy and coconut, the main agriculture in the state still faces crisis, he said, adding, with the introduction of "Neera drink", the crisis in the coconut farming sector has been reduced to a certain extent.
On the crisis in paddy sector, he said state government was procuring paddy at Rs 19 per kg for which the Central subsidy was Rs 13.50 and state share Rs 5.50. The state's total liability on this would come to around Rs 200 crore, he said.
However, farmers were of the opinion that this price was also low, the Chief Minister said, adding that in order to get more price to farmers pressure will be exerted at the Centre.
With regard to vegetable sector, he said it was a matter of shame that Kerala has not yet attained self sufficiency in vegetable farming. On the crisis in rubber sector, he said rubber price in the international market was Rs 12 less than that in Kerala and issues connected with rubber would be brought up at the Centre, he said.