‘Agri officials cold shoulder panchayat’s green initiatives’

By Times Of India on 22 Mar 2018
Thiruvananthapuram: District panchayat president V K Madhu slammed the department of agriculture in the post-budget news conference saying that the efforts of panchayat to promote farming have been cold-shouldered by the officials of department of agriculture.
“We had great plans and set targets in our budgets for previous fiscals related to promotion of farming, but unfortunately we couldn’t attain our objectives as per our plan. The officials of agriculture department have been very indifferent,” Madhu did not mince words.

“Their ‘responsible’ ways of doing their job have already resulted in shrinking farm lands and when local bodies are coming up with plans to revive the farmland, their response is really disappointing. They don't seem to realize the searing truths in front of everyone. As long as they receive their salaries they don’t care and unless something like KSRTC’s fate befalls agriculture department, we can’t hope for any change,” said V K Madhu.

He added that the panchayat had taken up the issue with minister for agriculture V S Sunilkumar. “We don't have any issues with the agriculture minister, even he is aware of all these problems and he has been trying to effect some changes,” said V K Madhu.

V K Madhu led district panchayat has consistently stressed on the need to make district self-sustainable in vegetable production. A sizeable allocation of panchayat fund has been devoted to organic farming, paddy cultivation in fallow land in the previous budgets. In the 2018-19 budget, the panchayat plans to initiate farming in 2,900 hectares of fallow land. A model agricultural farm has been proposed in all gram panchayats.

The panchayat had also proposed to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable production with the launch of 5,000 organic farm units on plots measuring 20 cents each cutting across block and village panchayats.