POABS offers Rs 12.50 per kg of paddy

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Kochi, Apr 12 (UNI) The POABS Group is offering a premium price of Rs 12.50 per kg of paddy for farmers who have shifted to organic cultivation at Vadakkencherry in Palakkad district.

According to an official release here today, an MoU to this effect was signed between farmers' Padasekhara Samithi and the POABS to extend technical support to the farmers in the form of supply of organic bio-manure, bio-fertilizers and bio-control agents. It also supports buying back the crop at a premium price of 25 per cent above the support price fixed by the Kerala government, until the crop attained international organic certification.

The premium price was expected to go up to 40 per cent of the support price within three years of the crop securing international organic certification, POABS Group Director Thomas Jacob said.

The understanding was expected to bring more area under organic cultivation in Kerala, in tune with the state government's new organic policy, he noted.

An area of 50 acres of land was brought under organic paddy cultivation in Vadakkencherry panchayat during this year under the joint auspices of the Padasekhara Samithi, POABS Group, agriculture department and Vadakkencherry Grama Panchayat, under which the agriculture department also extended additional assistance to the farmers, Samithi spokesman said.

Organic paddy cultivation had also been taken up at Kollenkode and Ayiloor panchayats in the district, covering a total area of 100 acres. The POABS Group, which owns the country's largest multi-crop organic plantation at Nelliyampathy in Palakkad district, was aiming at bringing at least 500 acres land under organic cultivation in a phased manner in the district, Mr Jacob said.

Alappuzha is another district in the state where organic paddy cultivation has been taken up in about 100 acres of land.

UNI MA GKT RN1955

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