‘Centre should encourage TS for its agricultural growth’

Palm oil to be promoted on mission mode in State, says Minister

Telangana Minister for Agriculture S.Niranjan Reddy on Tuesday underscored the need for the Centre to encourage Telangana for the strides it made on the agricultural front.

“We need appreciation of government of India,” the Minister told a conference in which Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar participated. His statement assumes significance as it came amid a growing discord between Telangana and the Centre on issue of paddy procurement.

Mr.Reddy said this while pointing to how the State government was creating awareness of the need for crop diversification among the farmers. “We are educating them to go for oilseeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables,” he told the business summit for southern States on the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm.

Stating that the Telangana was able to reap a bountiful harvest and do well in agriculture on the back of the leadership of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and policies, he assured that the State, which surpassed Punjab in paddy production, would also cross the target for oil palm set by the Centre. As against the target of 4.36 lakh hectares, Telangana intends to cover 12 lakh hectares under oil palm by 2026 with a outlay of ₹ 30,968 crore on a mission mode, he said.

He said besides seeking approval for the action plan, to cover 12 lakh hectares, drawn up Telangana, the State wanted the Centre to give ₹ 7,170 crore as its share, provide higher price to farmers for the FFBs (Fresh Fruit Bunches) of oil palm, and enhance assistance for drip irrigation as well as on inputs and inter-crops to the farmers.

The second such summit of the Mission — first was held in Guwahati for North Eastern states in October — the programme was witness to bonhomie among Mr. Reddy, the Union Minister as well as the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Choudhary.

Mr. Tomar assured that there will be no shortage of resources for the implementation of the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm. The Centre wants to make India self-reliant in the field of palm oil. “Currently about 3 lakh hectares is under palm oil cultivation while studies have shown that about 28 lakh hectares is suitable for the oil palm cultivation in the country. It is our mission to bring 28 lakh hectares of land under cultivation to make India Aatmanirbhar in edible oil,” he said.

Describing Telangana as an emerging leader in oil palm production and appreciating the efforts of the State government, he stressed on adoption and promotion of natural farming to reduce the production cost without hampering production.

Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said the State has notified 26 districts for oil palm cultivation and 11 oil processors are operating in the State.

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