//Eco-tourism project for 10 centres

Eco-tourism project for 10 centres

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor R.L. Bhatia has announced a new eco-tourism project, `Wonderful Wilderness,’ to be implemented in 10 select centres. He also announced the `Habitat Forestry’ scheme for planting trees in public and private land in his annual address to the Assembly on Friday.

The Governor also listed out a proposal to detect ganja cultivation in the interior forests and prevent smuggling in precious trees. The scheme would be launched with the assistance of the Advanced Data Processing and Research Institute, Secunderabad.

The Governor said the Government would establish agro-service centres at Krishi Bhavans to provide single window services to farmers. Micro enterprises for value addition, micro-finance and marketing assistance would be provided for crops such as pepper, ginger, turmeric, cardamom and coconut. New projects such as cow villages (`pasu gramam’), buffalo and goat rearing would be implemented.

A high-tech laboratory would be established to promote meat export and maintain the quality of meat. A State veterinary and animal health complex would be established in the State capital, he said.

The new Environment Department would commission studies to highlight the problems and suggest solutions for prevention of environmental degradation.

A draft environmental policy would be declared soon, he said. The AGRISNET (Agricultural Information System Network) for networking the services provided in the agricultural sector would be executed during the current year. The Government would also consider implementing an insurance scheme for major perennial crops.