Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed dissatisfaction over the Centre’s discrimination towards Telangana State in procurement of paddy. He has decided to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the latter to direct the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to purchase the entire paddy crop from Telangana State as was being done in the case of States like Punjab.
During the high-level meeting on paddy procurement, preparations for the Vaanakalam crop season and other issues at Pragathi Bhavan here on Saturday, the Chief Minister pointed out that the State government was procuring a huge quantity of paddy from farmers to safeguard them during the Covid crisis. He said the State government took it up as a challenge and had already purchased about 87 per cent of the paddy yield. “We will complete paddy procurement in next four-five days and purchase as much as paddy brought to the procurement centres. Farmers need not worry,” he assured.
Speaking on the occasion, Chandrashekhar Rao felt that one will get a pleasant shock when observes how agriculture in Telangana State progressed, developed and reached the peak level. The State, which once faced a severe water crisis, now had nearly 75 per cent of tanks brimming with water lifted from the rivers.
“Even in the severe summer, they are overflowing with water. It is no small feat that farmers in Telangana State are producing 1.5 crore tonnes of paddy per annum, on par with States like Punjab. Telangana is only the State in the country which is procuring Paddy even during these testing times due to Corona pandemic,” he said. He added that the government was also increasing its godown storage capacity from 25 lakh tonnes to 40 lakh tonnes to meet future requirements.
The Chief Minister ridiculed the slander campaign of the Opposition parties despite the government’s efforts to procure paddy crop from farmers. He said certain political parties were trying to instigate farmers for organising dharnas without observing that Telangana was the only State to procure such a large quantity of paddy during the Covid pandemic. “But the farmers, who know the fact and have wisdom, are not falling to the Opposition’s trap. The farmers are taking the opposition leaders to task and asking them to leave. Last year, when the State’s economy was down due to Corona, the farm sector had contributed 17 per cent income to the GSDP. In other words, the agriculture sector became a key sector for the State’s economy,” he said.
‘Telangana registered major victories in farm sector’
The Chief Minister termed the development of irrigation sector as key to progress and helped the agriculture sector to make rapid strides. Tanks were strengthened due to the Mission Kakatiya progamme and were filled to their full capacity by drawing water from various irrigation projects, which led to rise in the groundwater table. Besides achieving good yields under the borewell cultivation, he said the State could register such major victories in the farm sector, as it completed several ongoing projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers, as well as took up new projects. Pointing out that the State was largest producer of paddy in the country, he assured to stabilise the agriculture sector by completing the proposed irrigation projects in Medak, Mahabubnagar and other districts soon.
On the occasion, Chandrashekhar Rao discussed at length about the sprinkling of seeds method in the paddy cultivation with the Agriculture Department and advised them to encourage farmers to take up such new methods. It was estimated that farmers can save more than Rs 10,000 crore during two crop seasons by implementing ‘seed sprinkling method’ as well as obtain an additional yield of one or two quintals per acre. With this method, farmers need not plant the seedlings or transplant them. They also can reduce seed requirement, labourers and water utilisation by 30-35 per cent, besides getting the crop harvested 10-15 days in advance when compared to traditional methods. “I have studied this method from farmers who are using it in Khammam district. Since I am a farmer myself, I have used this method on my farm, cultivated paddy and got good results. There are machines available to sprinkle the seeds. All paddy farmers in the State should utilise this method for better results,” he advised.
Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy, Rythu Bandhu Samithi chairman and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, MLAs Marri Janardhan Reddy, Bandi Krishnamohan Reddy, Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation chairman Mareddy Srinivas Reddy, Principal Secretary for CMO S Narsing Rao, Secretaries Smita Sabharwal and Bhopal Reddy were present at the review meeting. Principal Secretary for Finance Ramakrishna Rao, Agriculture commissioner Raghunandan Rao, Prof Jaya Shankar Agriculture University vice-chancellor Dr Praveen Rao, Civil Supplies Commissioner Anil Kumar, Seeds Corporation managing director Keshavulu and others were present.
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