The government will examine the possibility of providing special support price for pokkali rice, Agriculture Minister P. Prasad has said. He was replying to a question raised by K.N. Unnikrishnan, MLA, in the State Assembly.

The government has appointed a committee of experts to study the possibility of providing special support price for pokkali rice after considering the rice variety’s production cost. A decision would be taken on the matter based on the panel’s report, the Minister added. The Spices Board has also been entrusted with the task of taking up follow-up action.

In answer to another question, the Minister said a total of 112.3 tonnes of pokkali rice was yet to be procured from six panchayats in Vypeen constituency.

These include 50 tonnes to be procured from Kadamakkudy panchayat; 24 tonnes from Kuzhuppilly; 20 tonnes from Nayarambalam; eight tonnes from Edvanakkad; six tonnes from Pallippuram; and 4.3 tonnes from Njarakkal. The Agriculture Secretary had been instructed to look into the petition received on support for pokkali rice, the Minister added.

The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation has been procuring rice from registered pokkali farmers at the rate of ₹28.20 per kg. The Korambadam Service Cooperative Bank and the Ezhikkara Service Cooperative Bank have been procuring pokkali rice at the rate of ₹40 to ₹55 per kg.

There was also facility for milling the pokkali rice at the Udyamperoor Kandanad mill for pokkali rice from Vypeen and Langad blocks, the Minister added. Work on the milling facility at the Palliyakkal Service Cooperative Bank in Ezhikkara panchayat has been completed. The bank has also begun rice procurement. The mill has been supported by ₹3 crore from NABARD.

A communication from the Public Relations department said the Njarakkal block had seen production of 114 tonnes of pokkali rice during the season just concluded. The rice was cultivated in 126 hectares. It is expected that the production will bring about ₹52 lakh.

Five panchayats dominate the pokkali cultivation scene under the Vypeen block. These include the 50 hectares in Kuzhuppally, 35 hectares in Nayarambalam, 35 hectares in 26 hectares in Edavanakkad, 10 hectares in Pallippuram, and five hectares in Njarakkal.

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