Kannur, Kerala: Expressing grave concern over the “distressing scenario” of agriculture in the state, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan called upon the scientific community to play an active role in providing much needed impetus for allround growth of the sector.
“Despite Kerala being endowed with abundant rainfall, large number of rivers, streams, canals, backwaters, forest wealth and fertile soil, the distressed farmers in the state are driven to suicide and the active involvement of the scientific community is essential to fast forward the much needed development of the sector,” Achuthananandan said.
The scientists can play a major role to supplement series of steps initiated by his government to mitigate the farmers’ crisis, he said inaugurating the 19th Kerala Science Congress here.
Stating that the problems faced by the farmers are multifold, Achuthanandan said the low yield of agricultural crops had aggravated the matter thanks to the liberalised import of agricultural produce.
Congratulating the researchers for having helped Kerala to reach top position in rubber yield, Achuthanandan, however expressed grave concern over the dwindling average coconut production and stagnant paddy yield of two tonnes per hactare over the past several years.
“We need better seeds, better farming practices and better cropping systems. The excellent results achieved in the labs should be translated into the field,” he said.