Telangana becoming rice bowl of the country, says CM

(EDS: Correcting slug) Hyderabad, Apr 29 (PTI): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday said the state is becoming the rice bowl of the country due to record paddy being cultivated following improvement in irrigation facilities.

He said a strategy is being worked out to ensure reasonable support price for the agricultural produce in view ofthe increase inyield and acreage.

Rao, who held a meeting on agriculture-related issues, also favoured the cultivation of crops in a regulated manner in which the farmers should cultivate crops that would have a demand in the market, an official release said.

He told the officials concerned to construct godowns with an additional capacity of 40 lakh tonnes.

About 1300 TMC of water in Godavari and Krishna would be used soon as the government has prioritised irrigation projects, the Chief Minister said.

Besides, availability of water for irrigation improved due to works taken up to revive tanks under Mission Kakatiya scheme and also due to the 24-hour-free power supply to farm sector, he said.

Under projects related to wells and borewells, there is a possibility of having two crops in 1.45 crore acres and three crops in 10 lakh acres. Then Telangana will become the rice bowl of India. The yield will be doubled in the years to come. It is our bounden duty to finalise a strategy to get the support price, he said.

Observing that the state government is now buying each and every morsel produced by farmers as the farmers are in distress due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, Rao said the farmers should similarly get their support price in future too.

Favouring the civil supplies department to buy paddy, pulses, and mill them into rice and pulses through food processing units and supplying them to people, he said such a move would help farmers get proper support price.

The civil supplies department should prepare an action plan in this direction, he said.

The Chief Minister also favoured the farmers going for crops as per market demand.

The practice of every farmer going for the same crop should be done away with. Farmers should go in for crops which have a demand in the markets. The agriculture department should suggest which crop should be grown in which area. Farmers should go in for crops as suggested by the Agriculture department. The government should procure the yield, he said.

Procurement should also be done in a regulatory manner and the government is ready bring in a legislation if need be in this regard, he said.

Noting that there is more demand for fertilisers and pesticides and seeds in view of rise in cultivation of crops, he said there is a need for 22.30 lakh tonnes of fertilisers in the coming monsoon season. Arrangements are being made to keep the fertilisers available for farmers.

Saying that godowns with a capacity of 22.5 lakh tonnes are available in the state, he favoured construction of godowns with an additional capacity of 40 lakh tonnes.

He suggested that the Rythu Bandhu Samitis (farmers coordination panels) plays an active role in helping the farmers.

He further said the government is taking stern action against sale of spurious seeds, fertilisers and pesticides.

According to official sources, the estimated production of paddy during the current season is around one core MTs.PTI SJR NVG NVG NVG