Kerala first state to fix floor price for vegetables: CM

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 27 (PTI): Kerala on Tuesday became the first state to fix the floor price for vegetables, which would be 20 per cent above the production cost, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Tuesday.

The scheme would come into effect from November 1, he said.

Launching the scheme online, he said this was the first time the floor price was being fixed for 16 varietiesof vegetables produced in Kerala.

This was also the first such initiative by any state which would provide relief and support to farmers, he said.

The floor price would be 20 per cent above the production cost of the vegetables, he said in an official release.

Even if the market price went below this, the produce would be procured at the floor price from farmers.

The vegetables would be graded as per the quality and the floor price fixed 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 He said 16 varieties of vegetables would be covered in the first phase and there was a provision to revise the floor price on a regular basis.

Local Self Government (LSG) bodies would play an important role in this scheme as they would be coordinating procurement and distribution of vegetables, he said.

The scheme would benefit a farmer with a maximum of 15 acres of vegetable cultivation per season.

They can register on the agriculture departments registration portal from November 1 after insuring the crop to get the benefit of the floor price, he said.

The scheme also envisages setting up the entire supply chain process like cold storage facilities and refrigerated vehicles for transporting the produce.

The Chief Minister also claimed 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. PTI UD APR RAVINDRANATH RAVINDRANATH