Terming the amended Essential Commodities Act by the Centre as inhumane, Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy on Saturday asked the Agricultural Market Committees (AMCs) to step up efforts and take up the responsibility of ensuring remunerative price to farmers for their crops. He wanted the AMC chairpersons, secretaries, and staff to instill confidence among farmers and encourage them to take up alternate crops for earning profits through agriculture.
In a meeting with the AMC chairpersons, secretaries, and staff of the Marketing department at Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University here, the Minister said people have value only when they stand against the flow and those who go with the flow, will not make their mark in the history. He pointed out that despite all odds, the State government led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has been implementing novel schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima, uninterrupted power supply and also constructed numerous irrigation projects resulting in increased acreage and also enhanced the crop yields.
“Agriculture got its due recognition during the rule of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. Now, the onus of improving its condition rests on the AMCs,” Niranjan Reddy stated. He pointed out that the State was producing about Rs 1.15 lakh crore worth of agricultural produce and the AMCs must procure them for benefit of farmers. He suggested that the AMCs associate with the Horticulture and the Marketing departments to come up with novel methods for marketing the increased farm production.
On the occasion, the Minister said the Marketing department will be losing an annual revenue of Rs 400 crore due to the new farm laws brought by the Centre. However, he said the Chief Minister has agreed to compensate the amount and suggested that the officials examine the feasibility of filling part of the losses by giving the AMC lands on lease to commercial establishments.
Emphasising the need for alternate crops and regulated farming as suggested by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, Niranjan Reddy stated that farmers cultivated red gram in about 10.8 lakh acres and had received remunerative price of about Rs 7,000 per quintal which was more than the Minimum Support Price (MSP). “Farmers must cultivate crops which have demand in the market. Oilseeds such as oil palm, sunflower, safflower, and sesame should be cultivated on a bigger scale as there is a huge demand for oil. Groundnut production also can be increased from the existing 3.5 lakh acres up to 15-20 lakh acres,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Tourism Minister V Srinivas Goud said Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had proved his detractors who termed agriculture as an useless occupation, wrong and turned it into a profitable profession. He pointed out that only after the State formation, agricultural activities have improved earning a profitable price to farmers for their crops. “The Chief Minister is partial towards farmers.
Many people criticize his farmhouse, but they do not realize that it is a farm lab where the Chief Minister experiments with different crops to come up with a solution to farmers’ problems,” he said. He suggested that the officials should focus on byproducts of agriculture and turn them into a revenue source for farmers. MLAs Ala Venkateshwar Reddy, Methuku Anand, Marketing director Laxmibai and other officials along with the chairpersons, secretaries, and officials of the AMCs across the State, attended the meeting.