Riding high on the record rabi paddy harvest in 40 lakh acres, following agriculture department advisories and agricultural university experts scrupulously, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is getting farmers to follow his government’s regulated farming policy from the coming vanakalam (kharif) season for all crops.
All farmers will continue to receive the Rythu Bandhu investment support from the state but will have to follow cultivation of crops on the lines suggested by the government aimed at benefiting the farming community through remunerative prices for their produce. While paddy is to be grown in 40 lakh acres, the area under cotton is to be stepped up from 53 to 70 lakh acres and that under red gram from seven lakh to 15 lakh acres in the coming kharif season. Farmers have been advised against taking up maize and go for cotton and red gram. The entire red gram produce is to be procured by the government. KCR’s farmer-centric approach is to ensure the state prospers through scientific crop cultivation based on expert advice. The experts have in turn decided on the season, the type and extent of crops to be taken up based on agribusiness department’s demand forecast. To promote regulated farming, the state has asked districts to select land for special economic zones, set up rice, pulses and oil processing units, godowns in all 125 mandals with cold storage facilities while at the state level the Agricultural Produce Market Committee is to be constituted. The government’s aim is to transform farmers into a cohesive force with Rythu Bandhu Samithis and creating 2,602 clusters with offices for them across the state.
The paddy harvest in Telangana has been very high this year, following the advice of agriculture experts. (Photo: Reuters)
Telangana is adopting a three pronged strategy to make agriculture profitable. The government is to constitute an Agriculture Producers Marketing Committee, including experts in agriculture and marketing, to assess the demand for different crops and recommend to farmers which crops would be financially beneficial to them. It will also constitute an Agriculture Research Committee with experts to suggest improvements in agriculture practices including mechanisation. The state is also to set up a Cotton Research and Development Centre to help boost the crop’s productivity. The chief minister has decided on these panels as regulated farming is to be an integral feature of agricultural practices.
KCR unveiled the blueprint for agriculture reforms on June 3, after a series of meetings, even in the backdrop of the Union Cabinet approving the One India, One Agriculture Market plan. It cleared an Ordinance enabling buyers to purchase directly from farmers, outside the regulated mandis, anywhere in India, with the help of a PAN card. This will not be subject to tax by the Centre or the States – a step that could bring it in direct confrontation with several states. The CM has called for chalking out of strategies to ensure market-driven cultivation. “There is a need to increase the yield in the agriculture sector. There are several best practices that should be adopted. And there should be a scientific basis for the use of fertilisers and pesticides to improve productivity along with increased production,” says KCR. With the state pulling out all stops to improve the availability of water, tapping both the Godavari and Krishna basin waters unmindful of the costs, Telangana is vying to create and emerge among the best performing farming states in the country.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)