KANNUR: The district panchayat on Saturday presented the annual budget for the financial year 2018-19, giving focus on agriculture and women empowerment.
The budget, which expects a total revenue of Rs 124.93 crore and expense of 112.89 crore, was presented by district panchayat vice-president P P Divya.
“Our agriculture lands are dried up and we should make efforts to revive it,” she said.
‘Agriculture self-reliant village’ project, introduced in 12 village panchayats here last year, would be extended to 25 more panchayats, and Rs 75 lakh have been earmarked for this. Also, the panchayat will introduce another project, ‘Kayama’, for strengthening the cultivation of ‘kaipad’ paddy, which has already got geographical indications (GI) tag. For this, Rs 75 lakh has been set aside.
Further, it will spend Rs 5 lakh on a project, ‘Chambavu’, to conserve varieties of paddy seeds that are on the verge of extinction. Seed vending machines will also be installed in different places.
The panchayat also sees great future in floriculture as a business, with export potential, especially when the airport is commissioned.
Considering the demand for poultry here, the panchayat will launch its own broiler chicken brand. This decision was taken in the backdrop of huge inflow of poultry from other states, said Divya.
As part of expanding ‘Azhukkil Ninnum Azhakilekku’ project, banks of the rivers in the district will be beautified by planting mangroves, bamboo and other plants, she said.
With an aim of making institutions under the district panchayat self-reliant in electricity by 2020, grid-connected rooftop solar power systems will be installed in schools, for which Rs 1 crore will be spent. In the coming years, the project will be expanded to other institutions as well.
The panchayat has also envisaged various women empowerment projects, including financial support to begin start-ups, for which families of expatriates will be given priority.