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News                                                                                                      AgriTech indiA  June 2018       7

          State’s live vegetable seed                                            households  and  NGOs,”  said   50%  deficit  in  its  vegetable   supply  of  vermicompost,  coir
                                                                                                                                 pith  compost,  powdered  cow
                                                                                 Thomas  Cheriyan,  Manager
          bank taking root in Palakkad                                           of the processing plant of the   attempting to bridge the gap,”   dung, cow urine, panchagavya,
                                                                                 VFPCK at Alathur.
                                                                                                         he said.
                                                                                                                                 fish  amino  acid,  EM  solution,
                                                                                    The   agency,   which   The  packing  of  seeds  for   neem cakes, bone meal, grow
                                                                                 completed  21  years  recently,   distribution  among  students   bag,  and  seedling  trays  to
             government   initiative   panchayats   by   women   packets.  Each  packet  would   will  soon  start  a  Statewide   has  been  conducted  using   vegetable growers.
          A  to   distribute   kits   of   beneficiaries  of  Kudumbasree   contain  a  minimum  of  five   campaign  promoting  organic   the  services  of  2,000  women
          assorted  vegetable  seeds  to   units  under  the  strict  quality   varieties of vegetable seeds. We   vegetable cultivation. Thomas   volunteers  of  Kudumbasree.   600 tonnes of seed
          42  lakh  students  of  12,644   supervision  of  the  Vegetable   are making the seed sourcing   Cherian  said  the  State  needs   All   the   13   seed-packing   In its 21 years of existence,
          schools  on  the  occasion  of   and  Fruit  Promotion  Council   and  processing  facility  a   quality  seeds  and  seedlings   centres  in  the  region  would   the council has generated and
          World   Environment   Day   Keralam   (VFPCK).   The   permanent mechanism to help   to  achieve  self-sufficiency  in   be  converted  into  permanent   supplied around 600 tonnes of
          for  cultivation  in  their  home   government  agency  collected   the  State  achieve  vegetable   cultivation  of  pesticide-free   entities.  seeds from the Alathur unit.
          gardens for harvest during the   seeds  from  members  of  its   self-sufficiency.   Quality   vegetables.                It   has   also   ensured
          Onam  festival  marks  a  major   own seed growers’ association   seeds  would  be  supplied   Ensuring supply         Palakkad  the  prime  position
          milestone  in  converting  nine   comprising  184  families  of   to  all  the  needy,  including   50% deficit  Apart  from  seeds,  the   on  the  vegetable  cultivation
          grama panchayats in Chittoor   traditional cultivators.  farmers,  schools,  institutions,   “The  State  now  faces  a   VFPCK  would  ensure  the   map of Kerala.
          taluk in Palakkad district into
          a  live  vegetable  seed  bank  of   Quality seeds
          the State.                Quality   seeds   and
            The    endeavour   is   biofertilizers  were  used  to
          supported  by  the  Haritha   cultivate  the  seeds  during
          Keralam Mission.       April  and  May  in  the  rain
            The packets, to be supplied   shadow region using available
          to students of government and   water resources.
          aided  schools  along  with  a   “The   farmers   are
          letter  written  by  Agriculture   supporting  a  novel  mission
          Minister  V.S.  Sunil  Kumar,   involving   school   children
          have  been  packed  in  the   by  supplying  42  lakh  seed
         Kharif sowing yet to

         gather pace, early

         cotton planting affected

             espite  the  early  onset   than the same period last year.
          Dof  monsoon  as  forecast   Sugarcane   has   been
          by  the  India  Meteorological   planted  over  49.32  lh  with
          Department, kharif planting is   major producers such as Uttar
          yet to pick up momentum.  Pradesh planting 22.17 lh and
                                 Maharashtra 9.41 lh.
          Slow down
            The  total  area  covered   Losing ground
          continues  to  lag  as  compared   The  cotton  area  was
          with the corresponding period   restricted to less than 10 lh the
          last  year,  according  to  kharif   corresponding period last year
          crop  sowing  data  released   being 12.18 lh, the official data
          by  the  Union  Agriculture   showed.
          Ministry. The area under cotton   In  the  case  of  paddy  too,
          cultivation  was  particularly   there  was  a  major  shortfall
          down in Haryana and Punjab,   with   the   total   acreage
          while planting of sugarcane on   remaining  2.95  lh  as  against
          the other hand was marginally   5.2 lh previously.
          up.                       The  planting  of  pulses,
            The  total  area  planted  so   coarse  cereals  and  oilseeds
          far  was  72.61  lakh  hectares   too  was  on  a  lower  side  as
          (lh), which is nearly 5 lh lower   compared to last year so far.
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