Cotton farmers urged to go for alternative crops

Cotton farmers urged to go for alternative crops
Highlights

Farmers in Telangana should go in for alternative crops instead of cotton and opt soya bean, maize, red gram, green gram, black gram and others, according to Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.

Agriculture Minister says adequate stocks of seeds and fertilisers are made available in all districts, mandals and villages and can be obtained at subsidised prices

Hyderabad: Farmers in Telangana should go in for alternative crops instead of cotton and opt soya bean, maize, red gram, green gram, black gram and others, according to Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.

Speaking to the media at Secretariat here on Monday, the Minister said adequate stocks of seeds and fertilisers were made available in all districts, mandals and villages and can be obtained at subsidised price at cooperative offices, he said. Cotton crop alone occupies a major chunk of 42 per cent of total sown area of 1.5 crore hectares in the State and there is a need to replace it with alternate crops.

The government had kept ready 8.50 lakh quintals of seeds of all varieties against the requirement of 5.69 lakh quintals, the Minister said. Against the requirement of 17.87 lakh metric tons of fertilisers, 8.16 lakh mt was kept ready and 1.50 lakh mt would arrive in June and would get the rest on demand, he said.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had directed the officials concerned to ensure adequate and timely supply of the seeds and fertilisers and steps had already been taken for the same, he added. To ensure adequate stocks, available norms were eased besides decentralising powers to get seeds and fertilisers from Markfed and cooperative offices.

Earlier, Srinivas Reddy conducted a video conference with officials of Agriculture and Insurance on preparedness for adequate supply of seeds, fertilisers to the farmers on time and bringing poly-house farming under insurance cover. The farmers did not need to panic as the government had already supplied the stocks of seeds and fertilisers to districts, mandals and villages, the Minister said.

To encourage the farmers, seeds were being offered at subsidised and old price. Farmers including tenants could avail them, he said, adding that they could get the same by producing pass books. In Rabi, 67 per cent of crops were sown through 7.99 lakh hectares out of 10.69 lakh hectares, he said.

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