Kochi: As part of boosting production of spices in the country, Spices Board has launched a raft of measures to support farmers by offering various subsidies and sensitise them on the need to enhance the quality of spices through post-harvest improvement techniques.
The Board has also decided to provide financial assistance to farmers for irrigation, land development, mechanization, replanting, soil conservation and organic farming of various spices, mainly small cardamom. It will also give financial aid to them for purchasing state-of-the-art irrigation and farming equipment and tools.
Spices Board Chairman, Dr A Jayathilak said the initiatives are part of the Board’s 12th plan to improve export-oriented production of small cardamom and post-harvest improvement of other spices across spice-growing regions in India. “The eligibility criteria for availing the benefits are based on land held by the grower and is different for each programme,” he pointed out.
Under the new schemes, cultivators of small cardamom in Kerala and Tamil Nadu will receive up to Rs 70,000 for replanting, while farmers in Karnataka will get up to Rs 50,000. They will also receive aid for planting material production.
To help small cardamom farmers in the three southern states in irrigation and land development, the Board will provide financial assistance up to 25 per cent of actual cost for acquiring irrigation pump sets, sprinkler sets, equipment for gravity-fed irrigation system, and up to 50 per cent for water storage structure. The farmers will also get funding up to 25 per cent for soil conservation.
Besides, the Board will bear 33.33 per cent of the actual cost (limited to Rs 12, 000) for the construction of 200 cubic metre capacity tanks for rainwater harvesting. They will also get a maximum of Rs 1 lakh in subsidy for purchasing improved cardamom curing devices and 50 per cent subsidy for GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) kits and bee-keeping boxes.
Under the Board’s Farm Mechanization Programme, small cardamom growers in these states will get 50 per cent subsidy for purchasing weed-cutter/pit-maker, equipment for plant protection and for washing, grading and polishing cardamom.
It also provides assistance for post-harvest improvement process of the spices in several States including Kerala.
Kerala Biz News