Hyderabad: Calling upon the Union government to let the States decide the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce, Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy on Thursday said that each State in India has its own geographical advantages and disadvantages making the Centrally-imposed MSP irrational.
Participating in the 91st Governing Body meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi, Niranjan Reddy said it was essential to empower the States to decide on MSP if the Central government wants to achieve its goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022. The Minister briefed the ICAR governing body on the innovative Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima and Mission Kakatiya initiatives of the Telangana State government under the leadership of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
Seeking Central assistance for the State in its efforts to increase farm mechanization, the Minister listed out the steps taken by the State to increase production of horticultural crops. He also spoke about the rapid strides made in irrigation sector with the completion of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme and its positive impact on the agriculture sector of the State.
“In two years, we embarked on setting up horticultural university, encouraged organic fertilizers, biotechnology, cultivation of palm oil, lab to look for climate change, a lab to identify pesticide residue in farm products,”he said. The Acharya Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University has released high yielding varieties such as Telangana Sona, KNM 13, Batukamma rice variety, Karimnagar-1 corn, PRG 176 Red gram, WGG 42 Mung Dal and 13 more varieties during the past five years of time, he added.
He further apprised the premier agricultural research body of the country that the State agricultural university had made a survey on food consumption trends in the State to establish crop colonies. Explaining the efforts of the government to make Telangana the seed bowl of the country, he said that acreage under the new hybrid red gram variety yielded 2 lakh metric tons, which was a record. “Similarly, by controlling Fall Army Worm in corn, the yield rose to 25.59 lakh tons,” he said.
Seeking assistance from the Centre to set up more and more processing units, he said Telangana State has set a target of 130 lakh tons of foodgrain production. He also sought setting up of a Water Management Institution under All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRP) , he urged the union government to help linking farmers directly with the markets elsewhere to get a better price. He wanted more Krishi Vignan Kendras in the new districts of the state. He also sought additional procurement of 50,000 tons of Red Gram for the state for which the centre responded positively.