Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday directed the officials concerned to promote the cultivation of demand-oriented crops in the State, observing that there was increasing demand for cotton, oilseeds and pulses in the market.
Chandrashekhar Rao pointed out that there was good response from the farmers to the State government’s appeal to cultivate market-driven crops under regulated farming. “There is a good demand for cotton, oilseeds and pulses in the market. Vegetables are also in huge demand which must be given priority while the cultivation area of maize and oil palm should be increased to 20 lakh acres and 8 lakh acres, respectively,” he said.
In a review on expanding farm operations, the Chief Minister said cotton cultivated in the State had earned the reputation of being the best in terms of quality in the country as well as the world. He pointed out that the length of cotton staple grown in the State was the longest in the country with high-quality firmness. The officials were instructed to identify the unique features of cotton produced in the State and prepare an action plan accordingly to promote it on a large scale and build a brand image to increase its demand globally.
The Chief Minister suggested that the Agriculture Department organise a conference with experts in the field to promote the high-quality cotton being produced in the State. He wanted the officials to instruct cotton farmers on processing the cotton picked from the fields and packaging it with caution and thus, increasing its demand in the international market.
He said care should be taken so that there would not be any dust, rubble or soil in the cotton produce.
Chandrashekhar Rao said Telangana was the second-largest cotton-growing State in the country, with the cultivation taken up in about 60 lakh acres. “Cotton yields are good when it is cultivated under irrigation canals which are available adequately in Telangana due to the construction of several irrigation projects by the State government. Hence, if the cotton is grown under these canals, it will be beneficial for farmers,” he said.
He listed out several measures taken by the government to create a good market for cotton. He pointed out that the number of ginning mills in the State was increased from a mere 60 to 300 since the State formation by setting up more of them in areas where the cotton cultivation was high. “Many modern methods have emerged besides the arrival of new plant varieties. The cultivation of one-time-pick cotton should be promoted in the State,” he added.
Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary for Agriculture B Janardhan Reddy, Principal Secretary for Finance K Ramakrishna Rao, Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation chairman Mareddy Srinivas Reddy, Principal Secretary for CMO S Narsing Rao, Secretaries V Seshadri, Smita Sabharwal and Bhopal Reddy also attended the meeting.
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