Agricultural History of Kerala
Kerala is famous for spices from olden days . Kerala is a tropical region situated between Arabian sea and western ghats .Before stonage kerala was a dense forest . Starting from Lohayuga agricultural activities started in Kerala .To some years back Kerala's economy was basically dependant on agricultural products like cocunut ,spices,tea and rubber. it shows importance of agriculture and kerala economy.
Agricultural products of Kerala
Main cereal of Kerala is rice.Main fruits produced in kerala are mango and jack fruit .Kerala is rich in herbal plants that is why Ayurvedic system of medicine has taken deep roots in Kerala .
In the present day kerala agricultural production is mainly focused on cashcrops like coconut,spices and rubber.
Main spices of Kerala are Pepper,Cardamom ,Cinnamon,Ginger,nutmeg and Turmeric .
Other type of agriculture related activities in Kerala include aqua culture ,Honey bee culture ,Seri culture, Mushroom culture , poultry and catle farming .
Name kerala derives from the word kera (Coconut) .Each and every part of coconut tree find use in one way or the other .Main products of coconut tree are coconut oil and coir .Coir products made out of coconut husk are now in great demand in other parts of India and foreign countries .
There are state level and national level government organisations like Rubber, Spices,Coir board ,Agricultural universities .
Irrigation system in Kerala
Agricultural activities in kerala started on the banks of rivers and later spread to hills and mountains. Kerala is blessed with abundant supply of water from its rivers,lakes and ponds. There are about 44 rivers and 17 lakes in kerala , among them three flow from western ghats to Arabeansea .Kerala soil is highly fertile and there is thick growth of vegetation across the length and breadth of Kerala. Major riverse of kerala are Periyar ,Bharatha puzha(nila) ,Pamba,Kallada,Challiyar and Achankovil.Major lakes of Kerala are Vembanadu ,Ashtamudi ,Kayamkulam and Kodungallur. Apart from rivers and lakes ,canals and dams are there to provide irrigation facilities in Kerala.
Fisheries sector and live stock
Fisheries sector in Kerala include inland and marine .In Kerala there are about 11.114 lakh people living out of fishing related works.To increase production of fish from aquaculture ,Kerala government has setup an autonomous body ADAK .The agency give technical and financial assistance for aquaculture farmers.The inland fisheries include cultivation in rivers,coal lands and canals.Major water species of Kerala include shrimps,prawns,scampi.
Major live stock population of Kerala are Cattle, buffalo, goat, pig, poultry and duck .
Information tehnology to aid Farmers
kerala government adopted information technology for delivering information and services to all farmers of kerala.Advantages of adopting IT is that it helps to deliver right information to right person in right time and right context.Three main websites from different kerala government agencies are e-krishi.org,vuatkerala.org and kissankerala.net.
In coordination with Kerala agricultural university,Department of agriculture and IIITM-K,kerala government started a project called KISSAN KERALA Project.services offered by KISSAN kerala project include agriculture data aggrigation and dissemination,crop information,market information system,virtual market,query handling system and weather information.
Pension,Insurance and loans for Farmers
Kerala government is taking many farmer friendly policies like Pension,Insurance coverage,Interest free loans,greencard,Timely compensation for crop loss,better price for paddy etc.Kerala government is giving pension to Paddy Farmers under Kissan Abhiman pension scheme.A monthly pension of Rs. 300 is being distributed in the first phase to farmers who cultivate paddy.About 15000 paddy famers are getting pension under Kissan Abhiman pension scheme.Now Government is going to extend KISSAN Abhiman Pension Scheme for coconut farmers also.In first phase about 10000 coconut farmers will benifit from this pension scheme.Kissansree is Insurance coverage scheme for about 5 lakh farmers and their families.
Awards for Farmers
Kerala government is giving ample awards for promoting agriculture in Kerala.They include Karshakothama award to the best farmer in the Kerala state,Yuvakarshaka vanitha award for the best young woman farmer,Harithakeerthi award for the best farm in the State,Harita Mudra award for the best farm Based Video Programme on Television channel,Kera Kesari Award for best coconut farmer ,Ksheeradhara award for the best cattle-farmer,Nelkathir Award for best group farming samithy,Harithamithra for the best Vegitable farmer,uyanashreshta for the best flower garden,Karshaka thilakom Award for the best women farmer,Sramasakthi for the best agricultural labourer,Krishi vigyan Award for the best agricultural scientist,Karshaka Bharathi Award for the best farm journalist.
Government agencies related to Agriculture
Premier Government agencies supporting agricultural activities in kerala include Department of Agriculture,Kerala Agricultural University ,Coconut Development Board,Krishi bhavans,district agricultural farm,regional agricultural training centers,seed farm,soil testing laboratory,Kerala state horticultural products development corporation,State farming corporation of kerala,Kerala kerakarshaka sahakarana federation(KERAFED),The plantation corporation of India,Regional research laboratory,Centre for water resource development and management (CWRDM),Rajeev gandhi centre for biotechnology,Kerala state poultry development corporation.