Cabinet sub-committee to be formed on farm issues

The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to constitute a nine-member sub-committee to finalise storage of paddy in anticipation of another record production this season, milling, marketing and setting up of agro-based industries.

The panel to be headed by Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy will have as members Mr Gangula Kamalakar, Mr. T. Harish Rao, Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, Mr. Indrakaran Reddy, Mr. Puvvada Ajay Kumar, Ms. Sabita Indra Reddy, Mr. V. Prasahant Reddy and Mr. S. Jagdish Reddy.

It was also decided at the meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to offer investment support of ₹ 26,000 per acre in the first year, and ₹ 5,000 in the second and third years for oil palm cultivation. The farmers should be motivated to grow the crop over 20 lakh acres in 2022-23.

To gain knowledge in oil palm cultivation, a team of Ministers, public representatives and officials will tour Costarica, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries where the crop was extensively grown.

A release said the meeting instructed agriculture department to shift foodgrains for milling as soon as they were produced and supply wherever there was demand. All the posts in agriculture and civil supplies departments should be filled. The horticulture department should be activated to play a key role in production of fruits and flowers.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao told the meeting that agriculture was a success story in Telangana after its formation. As the farmers did not leave a single acre uncultivated, the cropped area in the State had gone up considerably. The result was a record production of three crore tonnes of foodgrains.

Since favourable conditions existed for paddy production in this context, Mr. Rao said it was likely that the production would further shoot up. Therefore, focus has to be turned on storage and marketing of produce.

He expected agricultural operations over 1.40 crore acres in the current season with paddy and cotton accounting for lion’s share of cultivation. Apart from creating additional storage space, the milling capacity of rice mills should be increased and more mills established.

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