The Agency for Development of Aquaculture, Kerala (ADAK), an autonomous body under the State government with a mandate for supporting aquaculture, will launch a programme for promoting Pokkali and Kaipad farming. The project is being taken up with the help of the National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), a funding scheme initiated by the Union government.
Rs.25 crore allotted
A sum of Rs.25 crore has been allocated for integrated paddy farming and aquaculture under the Pokkali and Kaipad systems. Accordingly, 100 hectares each in the districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Thrissur will come under Pokkali farming and 300 hectares in northern Kerala will be brought under Kaipad farming, a senior official told The Hindu .
The scheme envisages cultivation of saline-resistant varieties of crops under integrated farming practices for raising paddy and fish in brackish water. The funds will be utilised mainly for boosting infrastructure for farming.
Taking up mangrove cultivation at appropriate locations and strengthening of bunds of fields will also form part of the project.
Francis Kalathungal, a leader of Pokkali farmers’ organisation and an academician, while welcoming the project, underlined the need for extending support to farmers. The extent of Pokkali farms has been declining owing to lack of sustained support system, he said recalling that a Rs.2-crore project taken up in Vypeen in 2013 to boost Pokkali farming had focused mostly on development of farm tourism and failed to look into the needs of farmers.
Promotion of the GI-tagged Pokkali and Kaipad farming practices is in tune with a U.N. initiative to chalk out plans for tackling climate change. Sustained, environment-friendly farming is a component of the project. The Union government has set up a National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change and an amount of Rs.350 crore has been set apart for 2015-17.
The constitution of the fund is aimed at assisting States that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting the cost of adaptation. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has been appointed as National Implementing Entity (NIE) responsible for the implementation of adaptation projects under the (NAFCC).
Source : The Hindu