THRISSUR: The much-awaited 'Comprehensive Package for Developing Kole Farming' in Thrissur - Ponnani kole lands would be launched on Chingam 1, said agriculture minister K P Mohanan.
He was addressing the meeting convened to discuss the package in Thrissur on Saturday. He said Kole Development Agency (KDA) will be the implementing agency.
"Office of the KDA will be opened in Thrissur on June 30 and district collector P M Francis will be the special officer. The Rs 457-crore-package is being implemented in three phases. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will provide Rs 300 crore and Rs 114 crore will be provided by Central government under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. For research activities based on Kole farming, Indian Council of Agriculture Research will allot Rs 15 crore," the minister said.
Bund construction, deepening of canals etc. will be carried out in the first phase in 16,000 hectares of kole land in Thrissur and Ponnani while, farming and infrastructure development will be carried out in the second phase. Third phase is dedicated to procurement, sale and development of rice. Eight storage fa
cilities will be opened as part of the package. Suggestions of farmers will be included in the implementation procedures and two workshops will be held on July 7 in Thrissur and Ponnani, minister said.
Legislators from Thrissur and MP P C Chako, district collector P M Francis, officials from Malappuram and Thrissur and Kole farmers attended the meeting.