Strengthen agri, traditional industries: Minister

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Kochi, Feb 24 (UNI) Kerala Agriculture Minister Mullakara Ratnakaran today stressed the importance of strenghtening the agriculture sector and traditional industries in the current global economic order.

Delivering the keynote address at the valedictory function of the five-day 'Kerala Agri Fair' here, the Minister said ''agriculture sector and traditional industries lost prominence with the advent of globalisation and this trend has to be reversed for the benefit of society.'' He said the Centre and State Governments should chalk out policies to help revive and rejuvenate the two sectors.

Mr Ratnakaran said a market regulatory system, comprising Central and State officials, should be formed to ensure a 'fair price' for the farmers.

''There should be a system whereby farmers have a certain right on the high-end price of their products in the market,'' he noted.

The State Government has formulated an insurance scheme, which will be inaugurated on March 1 and a pension scheme for the welfare of the farmers,'' he said.

''Paddy and coconut farming, traditional to the State, should be sustained at any cost,'' he said.

UNI MA DS RL KP1730

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