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Kerala govt begins roll out of liquor policy

The Kerala government has started the process of implementing the amended liquor policy, state excise minister K Babu said today.

As per the policy, inspection of hygienic condition of 418 bars, licences of which were not renewed on March 31, would be carried out to certify whether they were fit enough to run beer and wine parlours, Babu told reporters here.

The policy had stated that only ‘hygiene’ bars would be allowed to convert as beer and wine parlours.

Babu refuted the allegation of a bar owner that Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association had paid money to three congress ministers in the state.

“Instead of repeating the charges, he should come out with evidence. He should tell to whom and where the amount was paid,” Babu said, adding, “this is a type of blackmailing is not good.”

Bar Owners Association working president Biju Ramesh, who levelled bribe charge against state finance minister KM Mani on the bar issue, had also alleged that three congress ministers were also given money.

Kerala biodiversity board to revive tuber crop farming
Cultivation of tuber crops in Kerala, which once enjoyed a significant position among food crops in the state, is all set to get a revival with the Kerala State Biodiversity Board taking up a scheme in this regard.

The KSBB has proposed a Tuber Germplasm conservation programme in Onattukara in Alappuzha district to conserve and enrich tuber crop diversity in the state.

According to KSBB officials, the revival of traditional tuber crop cultivation is significant in the time of global warming and climate change as they can withstand any extreme condition and provide good harvest.

Onattukara is selected for the conservation programme as it had been a hub of tuber crops once, they said.

A top KSBB official said many traditional tuber crop varieties are on the verge of extinction in the state.

“Under the plan, KSBB will join hands with Mavelikkara municipality and village panchayats in Thazhakkara, Mannar, Chennithala, Thekkekkara and Chettikulangara to impart training for selected farmers in tuber crop cultivation,” KSBB member secretary KP Laladas said.

Quality seeds of selected tuber crop species would be made available to them to spread their cultivation, he said.

As many as 13 species of tuber crops, available in Onattukara region, had been identified by the Board for the programme, he said.

A list of 29 other tuber crop varities, which could be introduced in the area, had also been prepared, he said.

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