On Tuesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched a scheme wherein the floor price for 16 vegetables grown in the state will be fixed at 20% above cost. When the scheme will come into effect, after November 1, Kerala will become the first state to have a fixed floor price for vegetables, said the CM during the online launch.
He added that this is the first such initiative by any state which will provide relief and support to farmers. Even if the market price goes below the floor price, the produce will be procured at this fixed price from farmers. The vegetables will be graded as per their quality and the floor price will be determined accordingly, he said.
"Farmers across the country are not satisfied...but for the last four and half years, we have supported them. The government has taken up several initiatives primarily targeted at the development of agriculture in the state," the Chief Minister said.
Sixteen varieties of vegetables will be covered in the first phase of the scheme, which has a provision to revise the floor price on a regular basis. The scheme will benefit any farmer with a maximum of 15 acres of vegetable cultivation per season. They can register on the Agriculture Department's registration portal from November 1, after insuring their crop, to get the benefit of the floor price, according to the CM. He also said that Local Self Government (LSG) bodies will play an important role in this scheme, as they will be coordinating the procurement and distribution of vegetables.
The scheme also envisages setting up an entire supply chain process, like cold storage facilities and refrigerated vehicles for transporting the produce.
The Chief Minister said that vegetable production in Kerala has more than doubled in the last four and a half years, from seven lakh tonnes to 14.72 lakh tonnes. The target was to increase production by an additional one lakh tonnes each of vegetables and tuber crops this year, he said.
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