Kerala to spend Rs 1,313 cr for food security

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Thrissur, Oct 16 (UNI) Reiterating his government's commitment to increase food production in Kerala, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today said Rs 1,313.6 crore would be spent for implementing various schemes to raise paddy production to 9.75 lakh tonnes in three years in the state.

Inaugurating the state's 'Food Security Scheme' here, Mr Achuthanandan said schemes to augment area under paddy cultivation by another 10,000 hectares would also be launched.

He said the government would ensure people's support for the 'Food Security' campaign, which would augur well for the state's future.

''Not even an inch of farm land will be allowed to be converted for commercial purpose as paddy cultivation is in the priority list of the governement.'' Taking strong exception to the Centre's decision to cut the state's foodgrain quota, Mr Achuthanandan said '' by doing so the Union Government was trying to wreck the public distribution system (PDS) and encourage hoarding.'' To increase vegetable production 1,000 'vegatable villages' would be established across the state and plans were afoot to raise production of milk, eggs and meat.

In a chat with reporters later, he said a new legislation would be enacted to provide land to the landless.

State Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran and Revenue Minister K P Rajendran also attended the function.

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