Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao issued a slew of instructions to strengthen the work of the irrigation and marketing departments, during an eight-hour meeting with ministers and top officials at his camp office at Pragathi Bhavan.
The CM told officials to strengthen Rythu Vedikas by moving the offices of the agricultural extension officers (AEO) and rythu samitis there. He wanted the Rythu Vedikas to be equipped with a public address system. If the AEO is on leave, he wanted someone appointed on a temporary basis and the post should not be left vacant.
The government would continue with the agriculture markets but wanted them streamlined. He wanted tokens to be issued to farmers scheduling their arival at the market yard. They should be given information on the locations giving the best price. For this, the CM wanted a research and analysis wing to be crated in the marketing department. He wanted simplified policies to issue trading licences.
Present at the meeting were ministers S. Niranjan Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar, Vemula Prashanth Reddy, TRS secretary-general K. Kesaava Rao, government Whip Guvvala Balraju, MLC Seri Subhash Reddy
Among the officials were chief adviser Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Civil Supplies Corporation chairman Mareddy Srinivas Reddy, Markfed chairman Maram Ganga Reddy, CMO officials Smita Sabharwal, Bhoopal Reddy, agriculture secretary Janardhan Reddy, Civil Supplies commissioner Anil Kumar and director Lakshmibai and Seeds Corporation MD Keshavulu
Rao said that under the new farm laws, cess would not be available to run the market yards. The government would provide funds to make up
The CM asked officials to analyse data on paddy arrivals vis-a-vis the purchasing power of traders. He said the agriculture department could canvass drip irrigation for paddy by which `10,000 can be saved per acre. Farmers should be made aware of new methods and practices, he said.
The CM said the government is giving subsidies for farm mechanisation. He wanted officials to set up custom hiring centres to give agriculture tools to farmers on rent.
He directed that regular training courses be conducted to turn mandal agriculture officers into agronomists, and suggested that officials visit Israel to study modern cultivation techniques.
He also wanted the cultivation of pulses and oilseeds encouraged. The government was willing to set up oil and pulse mills at the places where they are cultivated. The CM wanted officials to identify strategic points to set up oil palm processing units.
He said cultivable land and farm output had increased. The state was producing 1.1 crore tonnes paddy against 35 lakh tonnes earlier paddy at the time of its formation. Irrigation projects covered 1.25 crore acres, with another 40 lakh acres watered by borewells. Therefore, the responsibility of agriculture and marketing departments had increased.