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Fortified rice to be distributed through PDS in Kerala

Paddy procurement to be made more ‘farmer-centric’, says Governor in his address

The Food and Civil Supplies Department will distribute fortified rice through the public distribution system (PDS) to realise the goal of nutritional security.

In a bid to make paddy procurement more ‘farmer-centric’, the department will also procure agricultural produce, especially edible cash crops, and market them through Supplyco outlets after converting them into value-added products.

In his policy address at the Assembly, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan lauded the efforts made to ensure no one starved during the pandemic. Besides meeting the needs of migrant labourers, effective market intervention was also done to prevent price hike and shortage of food grains, vegetables and other essential commodities.

The government now targeted extending mobile ration shops to all inaccessible tribal and settlement areas. Besides implementing the new Consumer Protection Act, 2019, encompassing the e-commerce sector to prevent consumer exploitation, the government would also put in place an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to streamline and consolidate the activities of Supplyco to ensure its profitability. The online home delivery network under the company would be further extended within the State.

The Centre for Food Research and Development would be strengthened with new courses and facilities to open new avenues for the State in the food processing sector and generate employment opportunities. A dehydration plant for advancing the shelf life of agricultural produce would be operationalised to ensure livelihood security of farmers.

The Legal Metrology department would start a technical laboratory to make the system more people- and business-friendly. Gold assaying and testing labs would also be set up in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.

Forest

The Governor said the field units of the Forest Department would be reorganised on landscape basis to bring forests and adjoining areas to come under a holistic and coordinated management system that would improve their hydrological planning.

The department would also establish 500 demonstrative green plots or miniature forests on school and college premises under the Vidyavanam project. The Nagara Vanam project would be implemented to develop urban forests in collaboration with the local self government institutions, residence associations, and other agencies.

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