Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday called for a comprehensive and integrated strategy to ensure that farmers in the State get rates that are better than even the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.
“It is a matter of pride that the Telangana State government’s effort to provide MSP to farmers has emerged as a role model for the entire country. The Union government recently instructed the officials concerned to establish crop colonies in every State, which again is an innovative initiative of the State government,” the Chief Minister said, adding that now the efforts should be directed at providing even better prices to farmers in the State.
Chandrashekhar Rao, who had repeatedly assured farmers that the State government would focus on their welfare and development during the recent Lok Sabha election campaign, was speaking at a high-level meeting at Pragathi Bhavan to discuss the issue of evolving a strategy to provide MSP to farmers.
Govt as vibrant buyer
The Chief Minister said the mechanism to ensure MSP would not only see the government being a vibrant buyer of agricultural produce but will also be one where private players also pay MSP to farmers.
He said the proposed strategy should be evolved keeping in view the future in which the government intends to bring 1.25 crore acres under irrigation in the State, with the development of the irrigation sector. This will result in an increase in agricultural produce which in turn will require an effective plan to provide MSP to farmers and make farming profitable. “Close coordination of Agriculture, Horticulture, Marketing and Civil Supplies departments will play a key role in this endeavour,” he said.
Chandrashekhar Rao also said the Agriculture Department should identify and prepare strategies to take on national and international competitors with respect to marketing of agricultural produce from Telangana. If required, he said the Marketing Department will purchase produce from farmers with the government providing surety for all such purchases. The system to be put in place should be one where farmers receive their payments within five minutes of completing the sale. “The Marketing Department can not only be a catalyst on this front and drive competition among buyers but also export the produce to other States and countries,” he said.
Care, he cautioned, must be taken that no farmer is denied MSP.
Lack of coordination
“Telangana produces large quantities of paddy, maize and cotton. The State also has a large number of orchards. Though a variety of crops are grown, the areas they are grown in are not organized scientifically. This has resulted, at times, in the produce not being in tune with the market demands and variations,” he said.
“One of the key aspects of ensuring MSP or rates better than MSP to farmers will be the staggering of bringing crops to market yards. Rythu Samanvaya Samithis should play a role in this aspect,” the Chief Minister said.
CM for food consumption survey
Hyderabad: A State-wide food consumption survey will be taken up to collect comprehensive information on purchase and consumption patterns of food products and the data from the survey should be used to plan crop colonies in Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister instructed officials of the Agriculture Department to conduct the survey in the next 10 days to obtain definite statistical data on various types of food items consumed in every part of the State. The data will help in analyzing the food needs of the people of Telangana. In addition to providing accurate details on consumption of various food commodities, it will also provide information on how much of these products are imported into the State and what the exports are from Telangana, he said.
Chairing an extensive review meeting on agriculture and associated topics at Pragati Bhavan, the Chief Minister said once this information is available and analysed, then food items that need to be produced and their quantities can be finalised. The survey will also help in deciding which crops will be profitable for farmers to raise and also be useful for the State. Based on this data, crop colonies can then be planned, he said.
“Only with clear-cut estimates on types of food Telangana people consume, can plans be made on the extent of crops to be grown. Information on demand for the crops that are chosen will further help in ensuring better returns to farmers. This requires Agriculture Department officers and staff to visit each and every farmer and obtain details with regards to the crops grown. Find out how much rice is consumed? What quantum of vegetables are consumed? How much dal is consumed? Find out about the consumption of spices and oils. If details like these are obtained correctly, then it becomes possible to establish crop colonies easily,” the Chief Minister said.