KOLLAM: The Kulasekharapuran panchayat has blazed a trail in several fields, including its model agriculture which has received national attention.
The panchayat was selected by the union panchayati raj ministry to present the model at a national workshop held in Bengaluru on Monday. The two-day ‘National consultative workshop on economic development and income enhancement in rural areas through panchayats and capacity building of PRIs’ was attended by panchayat president Sreelekha Krishnakumar and agricultural officer V.R. Binesh.
The panchayat had envisaged several programmes, including upland paddy cultivation, sesame, vegetable and banana cultivation, launching of value-added products, including Onattukara sesame oil.
The panchayat had initiated a drive to produce some 27,000 kilograms of vegetables on its own by distributing ten vegetable saplings of five varieties each to all the 13,500 households under 23 wards ensuring participation of all families in the effort.
The beneficiaries cultivate vegetables in grow bags or in land, and maintain the saplings for the next three months. The authorities expect a production of 20 kg of vegetables from the 50 saplings in each house. A total of 13,500 households in turn produce 27,000 kg of vegetables.
The project also envisaged producing around 500 metric tonnes of banana from these households. The members of agricultural workforce constituted by the panchayat and MNREGA workers visit the households to plant banana in a pit of prescribed depth. Manure will be supplied by the panchayat authorities. As many as 27, 000 tissue culture banana saplings will be planted, two each in a single household.
The panchayat also introduced agriculture in 1.5 acres of waste land in all 23 wards cultivating high-yield vegetables by using 6,500 kg of bio-manure as part of Harita Keralam mission. Scientific training for cultivation will be imparted to selected volunteers from these wards. The surplus vegetables will be sold through eco-shops set up at Puthentheruvu at Karunagappally by the Kulasekharapuram panchayat.
The panchayat was earlier selected for the ‘panchayat saktheekaran puraskar’ for its performance in the financial year 2014-15. It also promoted bio-farming and utilised hundred percent project fund allocation which was termed as ‘Kulase-kharapuram model.’...