Hyderabad, July 2: In is a first time that Telangana plans a budget for farmers. It is time to empower the farmers through more initiatives and make agriculture profitable, said Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
The Telangana government in a major boost to the agriculture sector has decided to introduce separate agriculture budget for the state with an allotment of huge funds from the next financial year. The agriculture budget will be set to initiate Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s plans for promoting the cluster-based cooperative farming system and make agriculture more profitable for farmers.
At a review meeting on farmers welfare and agriculture development at Pragati Bhavan here on Saturday, the Chief Minister enquired about the status of various proposals in Agriculture Department and directed them to bring agricultural reforms by obtaining necessary support from agriculture experts including retired agriculture officers and scientists. He wanted the officials to prepare an action plan to curb the sale of spurious seed and ensure proper maintenance of land records, besides supplying quality seeds and fertilisers before May 15 for Kharif. He took a serious view of some agriculture officers colluding with the spurious seed suppliers and asked the authorities to initiate stringent action against such corrupt officers, including registering cases under Preventive Detention Act against them.
“Farmers of Telangana suffered under the regime of undivided Andhra Pradesh due to huge regional disparities practised by the then rulers and did not have access to adequate water resources even for drinking. We have already reduced their sufferings through initiatives such as Mission Kakatiya and construction of irrigation projects. It is time to empower them through more such initiatives and make agriculture profitable,” the Chief Minister told the officials.
Chandrashekhar Rao also asked officials to ensure supply of quality seeds and fertilisers with increasing quality power supply from nine hours to 24 hours. He even informed that the government will be investing Rs 8,000 to each farmer from next fiscal for two seasons, besides encouraging farmers to adopt mechanisation, drip irrigation, poly house cultivation and other methods of cultivation.
Telangana Minister stressed “Farmhands have become scarce in villages and mechanisation is the cheapest and fastest solution to achieve desired results. Farmers should be encouraged towards mechanisation”. He also pointed out that the government has already started recruiting in the Agriculture Department at a large scale with an aim to reach out to more farmers and strengthen the agriculture sector.
The Chief Minister made a request to the officials to make arrangements for presenting the separate agriculture budget and also asked officials to establish 2,500 agriculture clusters each comprising 5,000 acres. The farmer's committees will be provided with an agriculture extension officer to guide them towards achieving good crop yield.
With an aim to realise the K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s directions, the government has decided to constitute farmers committees at village, mandal, district and State level and will be organising training programmes to empower them in the usage of both modern and conventional methods of farming to ensure higher crop production.
The officials were ordered to conduct a field study to prepare estimates on the requirement of various agriculture products and plan an agriculture calendar for farmers belonging to each cluster. Not only people but officials should also consider the requirements of cattle, aquaculture and poultry and other affiliated industries before facilitating farmers to take up cultivation of a specific crop.
CM Telangana also asserted, “Farmers should be educated against sowing the same crop and turning enemies for their fellow farmers. Instead, they should be encouraged to take up alternate crop based on soil study and water availability as well as market requirement”. Besides meeting the requirements of Telangana state, CM desired farmers to cultivate crops to export the additional yield to neighbouring States.