Hyderabad: With the Center deciding not to buy parboiled rice in Telangana, state Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy on Thursday called on farmers not to grow paddy this Rabi season and to switch to crops. alternatives.
In an open letter to farmers, he urged them to understand the Centre’s “anti-farmer” and “anti-agriculture” policies and to cultivate alternative crops with market demand like pulses and oilseeds.
Reddy alleged that central ministers Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar were confusing farmers in Telangana with their contradictory statements.
He also alleged that the Center did not collect the rice purchased last year from state warehouses.
Criticizing the Center for playing a double game on paddy supply, he said that on the one hand, Food Union and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal had made it clear that the Center would not purchase no parboiled rice from Telangana while on the other hand, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Parliament in response to a question that no restrictions were placed on the cultivation of rice in Telangana.
He also alleged that the state’s BJP leaders were misleading farmers by asking them to grow rice.
Reddy said the Center, which offers several incentives to businesses in various sectors and forgoes their lakhs of crore loans, is indifferent to the agricultural sector which is crucial for food security.
He said that unless there are a few lands that are only suitable for growing rice, various crops can be grown on the rest of the land.
He pointed out that for the first time in the country, the Telangana government has carried out market research and analysis which, before each crop year, analyzes the crops to be cultivated so that the farmers benefit from them and makes suggestions accordingly. Agricultural extension agents through rhythu vedikas tried to convince farmers of the need to cultivate other crops.
He noted that the cultivation of paddy is easy and the farmers face the problem of the availability of labor to cultivate other crops. He said that with this in mind for six years, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao asked the Center to link the rural employment guarantee scheme to agriculture, but the Center remained unmoved. .
Stating that Telangana farmers have been suffering for 60 years, he said, after the formation of Telangana State, the TRS government provided irrigation facilities, ensured 24-hour electricity supply and started projects like Rytu Bandhu and Rytu Beema.
He pointed out that at the time of Telangana’s formation in 2014, the state had 1.31 crore acres of cultivable land for the harvest season in one year. The cultivated area increased to 2.15 crore acres in 2020-21.
Rice cultivation in 2014-15 occupied a total area of 34.96 lakh acres (both seasons), but the area under rice cultivation increased by 198.15% to reach 104.23 lakh acres in 2020-21. Paddy production, which was only 68.17 lakh tonnes in 2014-15, increased to around 3 million tonnes in 2020-21, he added.