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Kerala Village Creates Its Own ‘Green Army’ to Improve Agriculture

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 06, 2022 11:00 AM

Read Time: 2 minute

A local panchayat in Ker village (Kerala) has formed its own "green army" to promote agriculture and address the acute labour shortage at a time when it faces numerous challenges, including climate change and a lack of skilled labourers.

Thycattussery, a village in the Alappuzha district's Cherthala taluk, now has its own "karma sena" (task force) to handle all agricultural-related tasks.

Workforce includes 20 women and 5 men

The workforce, which includes 20 women and 5 men, was developed in collaboration with panchayat officials and the Department of Agriculture.

The initiative is being introduced, according to panchayat president D Viswambharan, primarily to address the growing labour shortage in the industry.

The actions of Karma Sena are coordinated through a unique mechanism. The selected members received initial training in the use of agricultural machines. The man claimed that tractors, tillers, weed eaters, and coconut lifters had all been taught how to operate.

Karma Sena staff will be more active in the field

According to the agriculture officer, the Karma Sena staff will be more active in the field once they have completed training in the production and application of organic pesticides and scientific sapling production. He said they would be assigned tasks based on the farmers' requests.

"They'll offer services from clearing the land to harvesting at a fair price. Farmers themselves should pay the wages for the labour. As needed, saplings and grow bags would be prepared and given direction, the officer continued. The panchayat authorities further said that reservations must be made in advance in order to use the "karma sena" members' services.

The problem of labour shortage, in my opinion, is severe, as it affects the timely completion of crop agronomic operations. Agriculture's labour demand, particularly in the crop system, is highly skewed. For example, more labour is required/demanded in paddy, wheat, and similar crops during crop sowing and harvesting, while labour requirements are significantly lower during another period. As a result, there aren't enough agricultural (wage) jobs available outside of crop sowing and harvesting. This is what is causing agricultural labour shortages.

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