A major part of the Rs.122-crore project funds will be spent in Idukki district
KATTAPPANA: Spices Board of India has drawn up an elaborate plan to promote cardamom cultivation—a major portion of the Rs.122-crore-project will be spent in Idukki district during the XI the Five Year Plan period.
Various plans have been developed under the project so as to get maximise benefit to cardamom growers who are faced with fluctuations in prices and low production owing to climatic changes.
The new offices of the Spices Board will function at various places in the district and field staff will regularly meet cardamom growers to help them in crisis.
A regional office under a Deputy Director is expected to be opened at Nedumkandam.
This is aimed at coordinating the various activities at the development offices in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The regional office in Bodinaikkanur in Tamil Nadu will come under the Deputy Director’s office at Nedumkandam.
“This office is in addition to the field offices at Elappara, Pampadumpara, Udumpanchola and Pooppara, and the Assistant Director’s offices at Nedumkandam and Rajakumari,” said a source.
It is also said that the Spice Board will promote re-plantation of cardamom and extension of its cultivation to new areas.
It will also supply new varieties found to be producing high yield to the farmers.
Under the project, cardamom growers who have patta lands up to four hectares and registration with the board will be provided Rs.34,816 per hectare and those with over four hectares of land, Rs.26,375 will be provided per hectare.
“Those who had re-cultivated the land with the financial assistance from the Spices Board eight years back are also eligible to apply for financial assistance under the new scheme,” an official of the Board said.
It has also drawn up a rejuvenation scheme for cardamom lands which have plants over five years and up to 10 years of age. The aim is to maximise production and limit diseases that affect the yield at the time of its growth. Those who are applying for financial assistance under the project should remove the disease-affected plants with high-yielding varieties.
The Board will also provide financial assistance to cardamom growers and their self-help groups who are growing a minimum of 10,000 plants of high yielding varieties. The cardamom growers who want to avail financial assistance should contact the field office. Application will be received till September 30.