Public Sector Unit Kerala Feeds' district level 'Snehasparsham' project that provides 100 bags of cattle feed free of cost to flood-affected dairy farmers was inaugurated here Wednesday. Ernakulam District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla inaugurated the project to help the flood-hit dairy farmers. In eligible cases, more cattle feed would be provided without charging money, Kerala Feeds Managing Director B Sreekumar said in his keynote address. The August deluge and landslides had left Ernakulam district with a property loss of Rs 8,000 crore, Safirulla said, quoting the estimate of a UN team that made a study.
If the initial focus was rescued operations, it was now on rehabilitation by giving means of livelihood to the flood affected, he added, hailing the efforts of Kerala Feeds as "exemplary". Noting that rehabilitation was a long-term mission, the Collector said Kerala Feeds can help authorities provide dairy farmers updated technology and new guidelines. The function was attended by Dairy Development Department Director Jose Jacob, Angamaly block panchayat member TP George, Kerala Feeds Deputy Manager PP Francis and the PSU's veterinarian Anuraj K S.
Sreekumar said the PSU is initiating a scheme in association with the State Bank of India to help flood-affected farmers take loans. The company, headquartered in Kallettumkara of Thrissur district, would also arrange SBI loans for aspiring dairy farmers, he added. Kerala Feeds has, since the floods, distributed cattle feed worth Rs 22 lakh for dairy farmers in Ernakulam district. The 1995-founded PSU had also sold the product at a discount of Rs 100 per bag, thereby making a sale of Rs 31 lakh, the Managing Director said. The function was preceded by a familiarisation session where dairy farmers were informed about the insurance schemes for cattle.
(With inputs from agencies.)