Kochi (Kerala) [India], Jan 10 (ANI): Kerala Industries Minister E P Jayarajan on Friday said that the Kerala government will form a cluster featuring farmers and entrepreneurs of agro-based industries.
Speaking at the ASCEND 2020 Kerala Global Investors meet here, the minister said: "An academy will be set up that will study the viability of such business ventures and their international market."
Making opening remarks at a panel discussion titled 'Projects on Agro and Food Processing', Jayarajan said that agro-based firms would be the future of the industry in Kerala.
"In fact, we are considering the establishment of coffee plantations that are devoid of carbon footprint. The idea is to restore Kerala's glory in coffee cultivation, more so in its homestead of hilly Wayanad," he said.
Jayarajan added that a steady slip in the prices of rubber and coffee, along with general tendency among farmers to keep away from paddy cultivation, had led to a recent slump in Kerala's agro-industry sector.
"Of late, Kerala has seen the birth of rubber firms that cater to the healthcare needs in hospitals. The KINFRA Park in upstate Kanhangad (Kasargod district) is set to allot a two-acre plot for investors in firms manufacturing coconut products. There is a separate rice park for paddy-based products," the minister added.
TiE Kerala former president Shivdas B Menon hailed the moves of the government and said time was ideal for Kerala to give fresh impetus to agro and food processing.
Santhosh Koshy Thomas, Managing Director of KINFRA, emphasized the need for Kerala to have storage facilities for agro products, while Amalgam Food Group Chairman Abraham J Tharakan called for a system that restrained the use of pesticides in farming.
ASCEND 2020 Kerala, inaugurated on Thursday by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, aims to further reform 'Ease of Doing Business' in the state. (ANI)