Spices Board launches Subsidy Scheme to boost production and export

Spices Board of India has launched subsidy scheme in a bit to promote spice cultivation in India by offering subsidies and sensitise to farmers.

Under this scheme

Financial assistance: To farmers cultivating and planting various spices will be provided. The assistance will be provided for irrigation, mechanisation, land development, soil conservation, replanting and organic farming of various spices. Under this scheme financial aid will be also given to purchase farming equipment and irrigation tools.

Cardamom cultivators: Small cultivators from Kerala, Tamil Nadu will be provided aid 70,000 rupees per hectare for replanting. While farmers from Karnataka will get up to 50,000 rupees a hectare. The cultivators will also be given aid for planting and material production.

Irrigation and land development: For small scale cardamom farmers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka financial assistance up to 25 per cent of actual cost for acquiring irrigation sprinkler sets, pump sets, equipment for gravity-fed irrigation system will be provided. While, up to 50 per cent actual cost will be provided for water storage structure and upto 25 per cent for soil conservation.

Farmers will be also given a subsidy of 1 lakh rupees for purchasing improved cardamom curing devices and 50 per cent subsidy for bee-keeping boxes and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) kits.

Under the Board’s farm mechanisation programme, small cardamom growers in these 3 states will be provided with 50 per cent subsidy for purchasing equipment for cardamom plant protection and grading, washing and polishing.


India’s first Harbour Defence System commissioned in Kochi

India’s first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.

First of its kind system in the country is part of initiatives to strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline.

About Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS)

  • Designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
  • Consists of advance sensors, coastal surveillance radars and sound navigation and ranging systems (SONAR).
  • Capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and generating warning for all types of underwater and surface threats to harbour security.
  • The integrated system can detect presence of divers and under water threats with the help of this automatic system.
  • The system has been contracted by Integrated Headquarters of Union Ministry of Defence in 2012. Henceforth it will operate under the control of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Kerala).
  • Presently, similar kind of systems are fitted in over 150 locations across the world including in South America, Caribbean, Mediterranean countries and Africa.


New fish species named Puntius Dolichopterus discovered in Kerala

A new species of cyprinid freshwater fish named Puntius Dolichopterus has been discovered in Kerala’s Kayamkulam city.

It was discovered by Mathews Plamoottil, head of the department of zoology in Baby John Memorial Government College of Kollam district.

Facts about Puntius Dolichopterus

  • Named after two Greek words ‘dolikhos’ meaning elongated and ‘pteron’ meaning wing or fin. The fish has been included in the fish family Cyprinidae.
  • Characteristics: It has elongated pectoral fin and shorter dorsal fin. It also has unusually elongated dorsal spine which is rigid, strong and long and has longer head.
  • It has lesser number of lateral line scales and pre-dorsal scales. Its body is silvery, pectoral and anal fin greenish yellow and dorsal fin is light orange red.
  • Its ventral fin yellow while the caudal fin dusky and an inconspicuous dusky spot present on scales.
  • Habitat: found in small and shallow water channels. It is edible and can be utilised as ornamental fish.