Onattukara regaining its lost agrarian glory

Vegetable cultivation is being carried out in more than 120 hectares in six grama panchayats

Onattukara, which was once a granary of Central Travancore, is gradually regaining its lost glory in agriculture with a good number of farmers in the region undertaking vegetable farming with an eye on the Onam market.

According to the Agriculture Department, vegetable cultivation is being carried out in more than 120 hectares in the six grama panchayats of Palamel, Thamarakulam, Nooranad, Chunakara, Bharanikavu and Vallikunnam under Bharanikavu block.

At least this part of Onattukara, known as the land of Onam, has become a vegetable hub and the department is planning to transport surplus vegetables produced there to other parts of the district ahead of Onam.

Rajini. P, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Charummoodu, says a majority of the farmers in the region are engaged in producing ‘safe-to-eat’ vegetables.

“Palamel, Nooranad and Thamarakulam are producing more than its need and surplus vegetables will be procured by Horticorp for distribution in other parts of the district,” Ms. Rajini says.

The vegetable cultivation is being carried out in 75 hectares in Palamel, 20 hectares in Thamarakulam and 15 hectares in Nooranad. Five hectares each in Bharanikavu, Vallikunnam and Chunakara have also been brought under vegetable farming.

In June, the department distributed vegetable seedlings and seed kits to farmers through Krishi Bhavans. The veggies produced in the region include snake gourd, bitter gourd, ivy gourd, elephant foot yam, banana, tapioca and so on.

The Agriculture Department will open nine Onam markets in Onattukara – two each in Chunakara, Bharanikavu and Vallikunnam and one each in Palamel, Thamarakulam and Nooranad for providing vegetables at reasonable rates during Onam.

“Vegetables will be procured directly from farmers by paying 10% above the market price. The people can buy vegetables from Onam markets at prices 30% less than the market rate,” said an official.

The Onam outlets will function from August 17 to 20.

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