HYDERABAD: Union minister of state for agriculture and farmers' welfare, Shobha Karandlaje, said that the Centre would work closely with the Telangana government to promote agricultural exports in order to double the income of farmers within a reasonable time-frame.
The union minister reviewed the implementation of Central schemes in the agricultural sector in Telangana at BRKR Bhavan here on Monday.
State agriculture minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy, chief secretary Somesh Kumar and senior officials of agriculture department were present in the meeting.
Niranjan Reddy urged Karandlaje to give effect to a ten-fold increase in fund allocations to the agriculture sector for Telangana. He said that the state was, on an average, receiving funds to the tune of Rs 800 crore annually, which was inadequate considering that the state government had spent over Rs 50,000 crore on Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima and other farmer-centric programmes since 2018.
Reddy briefed about various initiatives of the state government, which had resulted in 38 per cent increase in crop area and 68 per cent increase in crop production in the last seven years. He stated that the focus of the state government was on increasing profitability for farmers, retaining rural youth in agriculture, achieving crop diversification, farm mechanisation, horticulture, especially oil palm, and improving nutrient and fertiliser efficiency.
Karandlaje emphasised the need for a dedicated cell to monitor agriculture exports in coordination with the Centre, the state government, APEDA and farmers to ensure that farmers get value addition to their produce.
She complimented the state government for taking up the ambitious programme of growing oil palm in 20 lakh acres, which would help save the country tremendous foreign exchange.
Karandlaje also visited the Centre of Excellence (vegetables and flowers) at Jeedimetla.