Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao declared that the state government will place regulations on cultivation of crops beginning this monsoon season. He said that he wanted the farmers to cultivate crops which will be suggested by the state government and this will prove beneficial for the farmers. This decision was taken during a high-level review meeting at the Pragathi Bhavan here on 12 May on the changes to the cropping pattern and setting up of crop colonies.

The CM will convene a video conference here on 15 May to discuss the new regulatory policy on cultivation in detail with the field-level officers and seek their suggestions.

Divulging more details, the Chief Minister said that paddy will be cultivated across 50 lakh acres in the state, using both fine and coarse varieties. The Telangana Sona variety will be cultivated in 10 lakh acres, the cotton in 50 lakh acres, and the red gram in 10 lakh acres. Details about the cultivation of the rest of the crops will be announced soon. It was also decided that the Rythu Bandhu scheme benefits will go to farmers who will cultivate crops as directed by the state and their produce will get the MSP (Minimum Support Price).

As part of the changes, the government has also decided to set up a seed regulatory authority in the state which will monitor the sale of seeds. Instructions in this regard will be given to the seed-producing organisations and traders soon. The seed regulatory authority will ensure that only seeds of the crops identified by the government are sold. If need be, the government will make changes to the Seed Act. Soon, the CM will chair a meeting with the representatives of seed companies in this regard.

The government has decided to grow vegetables in farmlands close to urban centres. The type of vegetables and their extent of cultivation will also be suggested by the government.

Elaborating on the changes, the Chief Minister said that no other state, except for Telangana, has made any attempt to procure the entire crop produce of the state, especially given the ongoing pandemic. “Schemes like Rythu Bhima and free 24-hour supply of electricity are not being implemented anywhere else in the country. The state government is committed to the development of agriculture and the welfare of farmers. The entire world wants to learn from the Telangana State,” the CM said.

He added, “The main reason why farmers are not getting competitive prices for their produce is because they have been cultivating the same crops. I have been speaking up about the need to produce crops that have a high demand in the market since the time I was the transport minister, 20 years ago.
I had also informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on crop patterns and crop colonies on several occasions. The practice of cultivating the same crops should stop.”

He said that the sale of different types of crops is very much dependent on the market forces than on the whims and fancies of individuals. “Produce commodities that sell. The state government has taken the responsibility of encouraging farmers towards profitable cultivation practices where the crops will be sold at the Minimum Support Price. Why should farmers think the other way when the government is taking such initiatives?” he said. There should be a constructive qualitative change in the thinking of farmers, he said.

The state government also reiterated stringent action against those selling spurious and fake seeds, especially cotton and red chilli seeds. Flying squads will tour the state beginning Wednesday in this regard. The Intelligence Wing is also invested in finding the culprits. The government has decided to identify those involved in making and selling these fake and spurious seeds and book them under the PD Act.

For the conference on 15 May, the collectors in the district headquarters, the district agriculture officer, the assistant director of agriculture, the district Rythu Bandhu president, and the seed development corporation officer will be present. At the mandal-level, the mandal agriculture officer, the agriculture extension officers, the mandal Rythu Bandhu Samithi president, and the village Rythu Bandhu president will also be seen

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