Kerala to go fully organic by 2016; Kasargod has already switched over


Copy-posting from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/organic-farming-in-all-assembly-segments/article6747476.ece

[Kerala] To make State fully organic by 2016

The government has initiated efforts to promote organic farming in all Assembly constituencies.

Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan said here on Thursday that the initiative was designed to encourage farmers to switch over to organic methods of cultivation, under a project to convert Kerala into a fully organic State by 2016. Kasaragod district had already switched over to organic farming in the pilot phase of the project.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting to review the performance of public sector undertakings, Mr. Mohanan said the agriculture sector in the State had registered a Gross State Domestic Product growth of 5.26 per cent over the last year. The production of paddy went up to 5.376 lakh tonnes though the acreage of 2.148 hectares showed little increase. The productivity of other crops such as coconut, cassava, mango, pineapple and other fruits and spices, including pepper, ginger, and turmeric, also registered an impressive growth. The domestic vegetable production had gone up to 11.9 metric tonnes.

The Minister said efforts were on to procure vegetables from farmers through Krishi Bhavans and market them through outlets of Horticorp and Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam. Simultaneously, Kerala Agricultural University and the Agriculture Department were involved in a drive to promote processing of agricultural products under the “Safe to Eat” brand.

Vending machines

The government, he said, was planning to install vending machines in every panchayat to dispense neera, vegetable seeds and products manufactured by Kerafed. The project would be implemented by the departments of Agriculture and Panchayats. The daily production of neera was expected to go up to 20,000 litres by February with the commissioning of new plants by the Coconut Development Corporation at Aralam and Elathur and the KAU campuses at Vellanikara and Vellayani.

Mr. Mohanan said Kerala was expected to become self-sufficient in milk production in another three years. “By that time, we will have added 6,00,000 milch cows to the domestic bovine population, raising the milk production potential to 60 lakh litres.”

Officials from 20 public sector units participated in the review.

5 Epic Community Initatives From Around The World


Our world is changing rapidly, and some of the most exciting changes in the spaces in which we live together. There are some highly ambitious groups seeking to completely redefine how we live. This is extremely exciting because changing such a basic element of our society will have more far-reaching implications than most any other change.

Check out these awesome examples of community initiatives at – http://www.highexistence.com/5-epic-community-initatives-from-around-the-world/

The miracle of Hiware Bazar


“Ours was a simple village with happy families. But lack of water turned our fields barren,” remembers Laxman Pawar, 71, a farmer. “Out of desperation, people started to drink, gamble and fight. Liquor had ruined us. When the illicit dens were closed, we knew there was hope.”

One of the first things the sarpanch did was water conservation and management as it helped farming and brought in some money. He got the villagers to voluntarily help in rainwater harvesting. Soon, the villagers built 52 earthen bunds, two percolation tanks, 32 stone bunds and nine check dams. “We used state government funds. The volunteer labour programme cut costs and also ensured quality work. It was as if we were building it for ourselves and for our children,” he says.

From Rags to Riches

PER CAPITA INCOME

1995 – Rs 830

2012 – Rs 30,000

NUMBER OF WELLS

1995 – 90

2012 – 294

BPL FAMILIES

1995 – 168

2012 – 3

MILK PRODUCTION PER DAY1995 – 150 Ltrs

2012 – 4,000 Ltrs

The idea was to harvest every raindrop as it fell. Being in the rain-shadow region, Hiware Bazar received just about 15 inches of annual rain. Ponds and trenches stopped rainwater from flowing out of the village. After the first monsoon, the irrigation area increased from 20 hectares to 70 hectares. “In 2010, the village got 190 mm of rain, but we managed well because of water management,” says Habib Sayyed, who works on water issues in the village.

Water management helped them harvest multiple crops. Before 1995, there were 90 open wells with water at 80-125 feet. Today, there are 294 open wells with water at 15-40 feet. Other villages in Ahmednagar district have to drill nearly 200 feet to reach water.

via One village. 60 millionaires. The miracle of Hiware Bazar.