Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government will soon launch 'Kerala Brand' organic vegetables in the market to promote pesticide-free vegetables grown by farmers.
Minister for agriculture V.S. Sunil Kumar told the Assembly that steps were on to sell the organic vegetables, grown in selected clusters across the state, under the brand name.
"The Agriculture department will sell organic vegetables, produced in 446 selected clusters, under the name Kerala Organic brand," he said during the Question Hour.
Detailing other plans to promote agriculture, the Minister said 'rice agro-parks' would be set up in Palakkad, Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts soon.
A string of such small-scale agro-parks would be set up in other parts of the state also in the later phase making use of the facilities of district agro-farms and other available land, he said.
In view of increasing concerns about pesticide containing vegetables and fruits coming from neighboring states, Sunil Kumar said more laboratories would be set up to examine the chemical residue in them.
The proposal to set up an advanced laboratory, where at least 50 samples of vegetables and fruits could be tested in one hour, was also under the active consideration of the government, he said, adding, launching of interest-free loans for farmers was also being considered.
On the drought situation prevailing in the state, the Minister said crops in 30,353 hectare agriculture land had been damaged, registering a lose of Rs 300 crore.