KABCO for finding markets for agricultural products will be functional by January: Prasad

Value Added Agriculture Mission has begun to improve farmers’ incomes, increase farm productivity and promote value-added products

Value Added Agriculture Mission has begun to improve farmers’ incomes, increase farm productivity and promote value-added products

The Kerala Agro-business Company (KABCO), a state government initiative for finding markets for agricultural products, will be operational by January 2023, Agriculture Minister P. Prasad has said.

Farmers will be part of the company that will be formed according to the CIAL (Cochin International Airport Ltd.) model. It was established with the aim of finding a market for value-added agricultural products, the minister said.

A new program, Value Added Agriculture Mission (VAAM) has started. Increasing farmers’ incomes, improving farm productivity, sourcing produce and promoting value-added products are the objectives of the mission, Mr Prasad said while interacting with media figures related to the Krishidarshan program in Ollukkara on Friday.

“Efforts are being made to rejuvenate farmer groups. Such groups can effectively intervene in the purchase, processing and marketing of agricultural products. There are currently more than 25,000 farmer groups in the state. They will be used effectively for strengthening the fam sector,” he said.

“Farmers should get a decent price for their products. There are 1,076 krishi bhavans in the state. Every krishi bhavan must produce at least one value-added product. Farmers should benefit from the marketing of value-added products, the minister said.

He visited agricultural fields and interacted with farmers at various panchayats.

Wildlife attacks are one of the biggest problems farmers face, with wild boars, peacocks and wild squirrels damaging crops. All possible solutions will be found in such areas, including bio-fencing and solar fencing. Successful models that have been experimented with in other parts of the State will be tested. This will be discussed with the Forest Department, Mr Prasad told the farmers.

In addition to the agricultural fields, the minister visited vegetable gardens in schools, public places, court gardens and terraced gardens.

Finance Minister K. Rajan and a technical team made up of officials accompanied him.

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