Trivandrum: The Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) will continue the market intervention that it had started during the Onam season by selling vegetables at 10-15% less than the market rates. This was announced by K Prathapan, Managing Director of Horticorp.
Addressing a press conference here, he also said that Horticorp got Rs.10.54 crores from the State Government as subsidy and this was passed on to the customers as rebate. He added the farmers were being offered remunerative price for their produce by the corporation.
Lal Varghese Kalpakavadi, Chairman of Horticorp, who was also present, said that the corporation is increasing the number of its procurement centres as part of its plans to enlarge its vegetable sourcing network. Horticorp will also establish a procurement centre at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu to tap the farmers’ clusters in that region for vegetables like tomato, okra, brinjal, chilly, beans and curry leaves, which were not grown in Kerala.
He added that Horticorp has, in the last one year, taken several initiatives to address the problems faced by farmers in Kanthalloor and Vattavada in Idukki District, two major vegetable cultivation centres in Kerala and this has helped in increasing the production of seasonal crops from that place. The procurement system established by the corporation has enabled the farmers to evade middlemen from Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Horticorp is planning to introduce new products in the market, like cut vegetables and flavoured honey. The cut vegetables weighing 350 to 400 gm are priced Rs.20 and will be launched next month at railway stations and bus stands. The packs, to be sold under the ‘Amruth’ brand, are being test marketed now at select locations in Thiruvananthapuram. The honey, processed at Horticorp’s centres at Mavelikara and Chadayamangalam will be available in ginger, tulsi and drumstick flavours.
During the interaction with the media, the Chairman rubbished the allegations of the Opposition leader, Shri V S Achuthanandan, regarding the functioning of the corporation. He said Horticorp was at times forced to procure some items from traders locally to make up for the shortfall in supply.
Kerala Biz News
Photo: Horticorp Onam Fair