“Rice bowl of Kerala” is the synonym for Palakkad. The net cultivated area of the district is 284 lakh hectares, ie.,64% of the geographical area . Major portion of the cultivable land is used for raising food crops. All food crops together account for about 80% of the gross cropped area and paddy alone accounts for about 60% of it. Coconut, groundnut, sugarcane, pepper, banana and cashew are some of the major cash crops raised.
The Intensive Agricultural Development Programme, popularly known as the Package Programme, was started in the district in 1962-63 in five development blocks. The programme was implemented in stages in the entire district, except the Attappady tribal block. Introduction of high yielding varieties of paddy seeds has augmented the production of paddy considerably.
The Intensive Paddy Development Unit Programme, or the “Ela” programme, and the T and V programme were introduced in the district in 1971 and 1982 respectively. These programmes were discontinued and Krishi Bhavans started functioning in 1987 in all panchayats and municipalities.
There are a number of agricultural institutions like the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Soil Testing Laboratory, Fertilizer Quality Control Laboratory, Mushroom laboratory and Agricultural Engineering Workshop.
Seeds of different paddy varieties are produced and distributed through the five state seed farms in the district situated at Alathur, Anangadi, kongad, Kannanur and Muthalamada. At the 325 hectare orange and vegetable farm at Nelliayampathy, orange, coffee, cardamom, mango and vegetables are cultivated. The fruit processing unit in this farm is popular for its squashes , jams and jellies. The Integrated Seed Development Farm at Eruthiampathy is mainly intended for multiplication of green manure, seeds, sugarcane, cotton and groundnut. The central Orchard, Pattambi and Holticultural Development Farm, Malampuzha are some of the other important institutions where coconut, vegetables, mango ornamentals are cultivated. Training centres such as RATTC, Malampuzha and F.T.C. Alathur started functioning for imparting training to agricultural officers and farmers respectively. A special rice production programme with financial assistance of Rs.20 crores is being implemented from 1994 – 95 for boosting paddy production.
“To sell well – dream well and tell well.”