Telangana to regulate crops; to tell farmers what to grow and how much
No Rythu Bandhu to farmers that violate State’s mandate
Perhaps for the first time in the country, the Telangana government is going to tell farmers what crops they should grow and in what extent.
The idea, according to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, is to make the farmers to produce what the market wants.
Beginning this ‘Vanakalam’ (Kharif) season, the State will regulate the cropping pattern in the State. According to initial plans, farmers will be asked to grow paddy on 50 lakh acres (including the Telangana Sona variety on 10 lakh acres of land), cotton on 50 lakh acres and red gram on 10 lakh acres.
Farm lands nearer to urban areas will grow vegetables and horticultural crops to tap the demand. What kind of vegetables and fruits to grow and in what extent too, will be assessed and announced by the government.
A detailed cropping map will soon be released and seeds will be sold accordingly.
Asking the farmers to strictly adhere to the cropping pattern, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has said that government sops such as ‘Rythu Bandhu’ (₹5,000 each for farmers in both the seasons for every acre they own) will be stopped to the farmers who don’t conform to the cropping plan.
“They don’t buy whatever you produce. One should cultivate crops which sell well,” he advised the farmers.
There should be a qualitative change in the thinking of farmers. They should change the current practices that are not giving them good returns.
As the State has decided to regulate agriculture, it will set up a Seed Regulatory Authority to regulate sales and production of seeds to conform to the crop mandate to be given by the government.
The government will bring in necessary amendments to the Seed Act.
In order to convey the government plan and take their feedback, the Chief Minister will hold a meeting (video conference) with all the stakeholders, including field level agricultural officials on May 15.
Revamp of Agri Dept
As the government is attempting to go beyond advisory and extension roles, it will revamp the Department of Agriculture to take up additional responsibilities. It has asked the Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) to undertake focused research on the mandate crops.
Source : thehindubusinessline