The tribal community in Kerala's Munnar has taken up farming on a large scale in order to become 'self-reliant' amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of 'Subhiksha Keralam' project, over 150 tribal families have taken up farming with the help of the Panchayat and the Agriculture Department. Around eight acres of fallow land in Bison Valley in Komalikudi has been given to the tribals for growing crops. The tribal community has started with vegetable and maize farming on the land.
"Subiksha Keralam is a state government-led initiative to tackle the impending food shortage after the COVID-19. The Adivasi community has also taken up the project of developing farmland. About 8 acres of land that had been lying fallow for many years, is now ready for cultivation," said Mercy Thomas, Panchayat President.
"During this lockdown, we all are involved in turning this fallow land ready for cultivation. We have started planting crops," said Benniraj, a tribal farmer who along with his family is also involved in the farming. Special care has also been taken by the tribals to maintain social distancing as part of the guidelines.
Meanwhile, on the pandemic front, Kerala on Sunday reported 14 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 601. State Health Minister K K Shailaja said four from Malappuram, two each from Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur, one each from Kollam, Ernakulam Thrissur and Kasaragod districts had contracted the infection.
(with inputs from ANI)