9 July 2020, New Delhi: The ICAR – Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), in association with the Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra, kick-started a new farming challenge among government organisations towards food security. The model initiative includes farming of tubers and pulses along with vegetables in an area of around 3-acre barren land in its premises of residential complex in Kochi city.
The massive drive assumes significance in the wake of discussions on urgent need of self-reliance in food production in Kerala, thanks to COVID-19 pandemic.
Shri. V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, Kerala government launched the farming by planting ginger saplings on 14th May 2020. The farming, which is undertaken by ICAR-CMFRI Krishilokam club that includes scientific and non-scientific staff of the Institute. The farming followed mechanised practices for preparation of the land under the technical guidance of Ernakulam KVK.
Self-reliance in producing safe food
In his presidential address, Dr A Gopalakrishnan, Director of ICAR-CMFRI said the initiative is primarily aimed at intensifying the drive for achieving self-reliance in producing safe food in Kerala. This would help in setting a model for other government institutions in the State.
Pulses are cultivated in the background that Kerala is completely depending on other states for its vegetable protein requirement. These kinds of farming models initiated under the aegis of government institutions would send a positive message to the public in such a way encouraging them to take up farming. The harvested crops will be distributed through the Farm Shoppe of the KVK located at the CMFRI, he said