Hyderabad: Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said there would be clarity on paddy procurement by the Central government in 10 days. He urged the Centre to procure paddy from Telangana State in the same manner it was procuring from Punjab.
After Punjab, paddy is widely cultivated in Telangan State, which is now the second largest producer of paddy in the country. Just as in Punjab, the Central government should procure the entire paddy produce from Telangana, the Minister said in the Legislative Council here on Monday.
The government had appealed to farmers to reduce paddy cultivation and take up cultivation of alternative crops in Yasangi, he said, adding that some persons, however, were deliberately criticising regulated farming.
Responding to a question by MLC T Chinnapa Reddy, the Minister said farmers were asked to take up paddy cultivation only under compelling conditions and in areas that are not conducive for other crops. “If the temperature exceeds 30 degrees in Yasangi, percentage of broken rice in the harvest will increase significantly. Therefore, farmers are being asked to harvest the crops one month in advance i.e. by March 10 in the season,” Niranjan Reddy said.
He appealed to all the elected public representatives to promote alternative crop cultivation and motivate farmers accordingly.
All efforts are being made to increase the acreage from last year’s 3.75 lakh acres to five lakh acres this year, he said. A conscious effort was being made to encourage farmers to cultivate groundnut, oil seeds and pulses, he informed.
Stating that there was good demand for aflatoxin-free groundnut grown in Telangana in international markets, the Miniter said the State government was promiting crops that are in demand in the market and as per the Market Research Analysis wings recommendations.
The State saw a production of over Rs 41,240 crore worth of paddy in the two seasons last year, he said, and slammed the opposition parties for their comments on projects and crop cultivation patterns in the State.
“It is surprising that some people question extensive cultivation of paddy in the State. Paddy cannot be cultivated in Rajasthan. Similarly, is there sufficient production in Kerala and Tamil Nadu?” asked the Minister.
Apart from other States, the harvest from Telangana was being exported. It was the responsibility of the Central government to ensure balanced provision of foodgrains among States in the country, he said, and stressed on the need for a detailed discussion in the House.
The farmer-friendly policies introduced by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and the provision of sufficient water for farming and increased acreage, crop production and other achievements of Telangana were being recognized by other States, he added.
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