Hyderabad: The State Agriculture Department (SAD) is upbeat over doubling vegetable production touching 84,000 metric tonnes in a single crop colony taken up on a pilot basis in Ibrahimpatnam near here. It is all set to replicate similar experiments in Chevella, Shadnagar and Maheswaram.
Govt to replicate Ibrahimpatnam project in Chevella, Shadnagar & Maheswaram
After establishing the crop colony, it has gone up to 84,000 metric tonnes,” he said. Encouraged with this, the state government not only wants to establish three more crop colonies but also establish farmer-market link to help both the farmer and consumer. That apart, it is also planning to set up agro-processing units in every assembly constituency for value addition to agriculture produce.
At present, the state has a vegetables demand of 39.54 lakh metric tonnes for its 3.52 crore population. Out of this, "the state could produce only 19.54 lakh metric tonnes and the gap is met by importing vegetables from other states", he said.
It was against this backdrop that the state government wants the farmers to take up vegetable production to fill the demand-supply gap. This was mainly to cut the dependence on the import of vegetables from other states and also to increase income generation to farmers. This is planned to achieve by establishing market linkages to the consumers to get fresh and qualitative vegetables at affordable prices.
Towards achieving this objective, the state government has asked the SAD and State Horticulture Department (SHD) to go on mission mode in implementing a series of schemes to provide basic infrastructure to farmers.
For this, the state government has been providing basic infrastructure like drip and sprinkler irrigation, orchids, hybrid seeds on subsidy. During the last year alone 75 lakh seedlings had been provided to the farmers and along with the highest subsidy on the micro and drip irrigation to the small and medium farmers.
Following this, the drip irrigation density in the state which was only 2.5 acres has gone up to 12.5 acres. This was achieved by extending a subsidy of about Rs 2.4 crore during the last four years to the drip and micro-irrigation.
Principal Secretary Agriculture C Parthasarathi said that one-thirds of the population of the state lives in Hyderabad. And, there is a need to step up production to meet the demands of the population. Explaining the reason behind the confidence to achieve the task, Parthasarathi said that earlier, “flowers had been imported from Bengaluru to Hyderabad. However, following the state government encouraging poly-houses, now flowers have been produced in the state in an extent of 1,150 acres to meet the city demands, he added.
However, the only hitch to cover was that while the Tamil Nadu has been producing 17 tonnes of vegetables per acre the production per acre in Telangana stood at 7 tonnes, he said. To discuss these plans with farmers, the Agriculture Minister also held an interactive meeting with farmers of 38 villages under Ibrahimpatnam pilot project area. He also assured them to look into their demands like providing transport vehicles, cement farm ponds and the like.