State complimented for growing oil palm in 20 lakh acres
Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje has stressed the need for promoting agriculture exports as they could facilitate in doubling farmers’ income within a reasonable time frame.
The Centre is committed to work closely with the State to propel the country as a major exporter of agricultural products. The Union Minister was speaking at a meeting with senior agriculture officials of State and Centre at BRKR Bhavan on Monday.
She underlined the need for setting up a dedicated cell to monitor agriculture exports. The cell would coordinate with the Centre and State governments as well as agencies concerned and the farmers to ensure that farmers secure value addition to their produce. She complimented the State government for taking up ambitious programme of growing oil palm in 20 lakh acres in the State, claiming that the move would help save lot of foreign exchange to the country.
Agriculture and Cooperation Minister S. Niranjan Reddy briefed the Union Minister about the initiatives of the State government that resulted in 38% increase in the cropping area and 68% increase in production over the last seven years. The focus of the State government is to increase profitability to farmers, besides retaining rural youth in agriculture, crop diversification, farm mechanisation, focus on horticulture, especially oil palm, and improving nutrient and fertilizer efficiency.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar explained about the Kaleshwaram project claiming it to be an engineering marvel which resulted in increasing ground water levels. The State also pioneered several schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima and Rythu Vedikas.
Agriculture secretary Raghunandan Rao said irrigation, power, investment support, extension system, supply of inputs, infrastructure support and social security for farmers were major drivers of the exponential growth of agriculture potential in the State.
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