KERALA TAKES CARBON-NEUTRAL ROUTE TO PROMOTE WAYANAD COFFEE, TEA
Kalpetta: In an initiative to regain the lost glory of coffee and tea plantations of Wayanad district, the Kerala Government, through KINFRA, is setting up a Carbon-Neutral Village Coffee Park and Carbon-Neutral Tea Park in the district. E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries and Sports, inaugurated the Carbon-Neutral Village Coffee Park at Kalpetta recently.
“Wayanad is famous for its coffee and tea plantations. But these plantations have been passing through a bad phase of late. Along with Wayanad coffee, Wayanad tea will also be branded and introduced in the market. Carbon Neutral Village Coffee Park and Carbon Tea park are being set up with that goal in mind, said Jayarajan, speaking on the occasion.
The Park will function in the Public-Private Partnership model where the Government will have 26 per cent stake. The rest will be shared by small-scale farmers, farmer producer companies and private investors. KINFRA will take up 100 acres of land at Variyad in the district to set up Carbon-Neutral Village Coffee Park. As many as 1.5 lakh coffee saplings will be planted for making it a carbon-neutral village. Financial aid will be given to farmers for growing coffee plants and they also can participate in this project directly or indirectly through production companies. The carbon-neutral coffee powder from Wayanad will be branded and marketed as ‘Malabar Coffee’. Similarly, KINFRA will also acquire 200 acres of land at Mananthavady to set up Carbon-Neutral Tea plantation. Tea estate will be developed here based on a carbon-neutral model. The tea will subsequently be branded and marketed as ‘Wayanad Tea’.
Farmers will be given technical assistance and guided in gaining organic certification. “Those products which are grown in carbon-free or carbon-less atmosphere will fetch prices which are as much as four times higher compared to the produce grown otherwise, in the market. These products also have great demand in international market. Hence, the Government aims to convert Wayanad region into a carbon-neutral zone and secure the land’s products a prominent place in international market,” Minister said.
The Government will take steps to reduce carbon emission to the atmosphere. Farmers will be given financial aid to plant more trees for this purpose. With the setting up of theses Parks, revenue and job opportunities of farmers will increase.
C K Saseendran MLA presided over the function. Sanitha Jagadeesh, Chairperson, Kalpetta Municipal Corporation and Wg. Cdr. K A Santhosh Kumar, MD, KINFRA were also present at the function.