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Name :Prabhakaran E.N.
Address :1015 Lancaster Avenue
District/City :Brooklyn
State :New York
Country :U.S.A.
E-mail ID
Entry date :2nd August 2008
Subject :About Project
Feed back
Dear Sir,
Your KISSAN-Kerala Project and the online services are unique and exemplary. The answered query module is highly informative.

I think it is proper to bring the following points I observed, to your attention.

1. While typing a question or feedback, the special characters like ampersand, asterisk, hash sign, dollar sign, percentage, parenthesis etc are not accepted. The whole text disappears when it encounters a special
character with an error message ? undefined.

2. The answered query module is growing unnecessarily large due to repeated answers. Several people are asking same or similar questions. You answer each question and post it in the answered query module. This causes repetition
and monotony to readers. You can either direct the requestor to a previous answer by token number or send the answer by e-mail without adding to the module.

One of the nice things about your program is that users can access all the previous questions and answers on any subject by KEYWORD. For example the keyword -mushroom- will bring all the question and answers containing
the word -mushroom- and the keyword -rubber- will bring all Q and A containing the word -rubber-. Users can clear most of their doubts and find information they need without bothering you. Many of the users are unaware of this wonderful feature and they prefer asking you. If you add a line or two to this effect in the instructions part of the ?Post Question- module, many of the repeated questions can be avoided and you will receive only new questions.

3. In numerous cases you refer the requestors to the appropriate agencies. This referral has some disadvantages 1. The answer they receive is confined to themselves. The information they receive may be useful to other farmers as well. 2. Those agencies will equally be over-loaded with repeated questions. 3. Your databank will not grow. 4. The golden rule for a service unit is ?Don?t refer the people,
refer the case?. Referral service will defeat the purpose of your existence. Therefore, instead of referring each individual, you can refer the more frequent and commonly
asked questions directly to the appropriate authority once, get the answer, and post it in the module. This will be readable to everyone . Repetition can also be avoided.

4. I have a feeling that a lot of encouragement is given to the cultivation of Jatropha ? the diesel plant, vanilla, aloe vera, safed musli, pathimugam etc.
However I don?t think there is proper infra-structure for transportation, sale, processing or preservation of any of the above produce or the farmers can make a profit out of their new ventures. Several decades ago, a leading chocolate company in Bombay played a trick on the farmers of Kerala. They found that the soil and climate of Kerala
are ideal for cocoa cultivation. They encouraged the farmers to cultivate cocoa and offered an excellent price. Some farmers including my father, cut down the rubber trees and planted cocoa. For the first year and second year of yield, the farmers made good profit. When the company got enough stock of their raw materials they slashed the price. Gradually, there came a time, when there was no buyers,
no value and no use. Unlike coffee or cashew nuts, cocoa seeds cannot be processed at home. The pods started rotting under the trees, infested with flies, worms, rodents, bats and a new comer called marappatti which after eating the chocolate enriched fruits stole the farmer?s chicken. The precious farm land became wasteland.
Will the growers of these fancy crops meet the same fate?

Few years ago during my visit to Kerala I noticed extensive inter-crop cultivation of pineapple in rubber plantations. The following year I saw mountains of pineapples
rotting on the road-side sometimes abandoned or unattended. There is no wholesale outlet, no retail buyers, no processing or preserving techniques. I don?t know how many
farmers are making a living out of vanilla cultivation or how many motors are running on jatropha. In my personal view, there is no substitute for Kerala?s traditional crops like rubber, coconut, arecanut, pepper, tapioca, yams, pulses, rice, vegetables, betel leaf, timber etc. Instead of wasting time on fancy crops like jatropha, vanilla and aloe, if they concentrate on mushroom cultivation and flood the Kerala market with different kinds of mushrooms, it would be beneficial for health especially for diabetic patients. If the farmers have land to waste, why can?t they cultivate tapioca? I paid Rs. 15 for 1 Kg!

If you have any comments on my comments, please advise via e-mail to
Thank you.

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