Better farming need of the hour

Published on May 26, 2015 01:47:59 AM

With the State government planning to launch Mana Telangana – Mana Vyavasayam from the end of this month to promote the sowing of alternative crops and with countries like China and Israel hugely promoting drought -resistant crops, the State government appears to have initiated steps to achieve its dream of a Golden Telangana. However, experts feel a lot is left to be desired in matters such as use of fertilisers, farmer suicides and study of agricultural practices and crops.

The most important concern area for us is that the farmers of the State are using excessive amounts of pesticides and fertilisers turning the agricultural lands into senile ones. So, there is a need for integrated nutrient management to improve the soil health as well as sustained yields. The state government should focus on this aspect in a holistic manner. It is heartening to note that the state government has already initiated steps to achieve these goals. The second concerned area in the agriculture sector is the effective management of water considering the fact that 90 per cent of our water needs in the agricultural sector are met through ground water resources.

It can be done by the wide usage aerobic rice direct seeded drum seeded rice alternative wetting and dry technologies. All other crops like commercial field crops, vegetables and fruit crops should also be promoted in a wide manner for the effective usage of water and earning profits subsequently. We have to promote irrigation technologies in a wide manner. Seed to seed farm mechanization has to be taken up on a priority basis. Poly house cultivation for seeding them in peri-urban areas is also the need of the hour. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had declared that he would turn Telangana State into the seed bowl of India. Keeping this goal in mind, seed production is also another area of focus. We can achieve it in the next five years’ time provided the plans are effectively implemented.

Dr. Praveen Rao,

Registrar, Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU)

Telangana State is ideal for seed production. It also consists of suitable congenial weather conditions. Therefore our focus should be on increasing our seed production in coming days. The state government should also introduce effective methods of water management by adopted integrated water system approach as the state has become prone to natural calamities like drought etc. The efficient water management will help us bravely face the natural calamities and keep up our pace of crop production without any decrease in the annual productivity. Concentration on alternative allied agriculture activities is also the need of the hour as it would reduce the dependence of farmers on agriculture and help them explore new sources of income. Emphasis on soil fertility has to be given. The introduction of methods like inter-cropping is also a good method to earn good profits.

The dissemination of weather information through print and electronic media should also be taken up widely in order to create awareness among all the farmers of the state. The state government should also promote the usage of micro irrigation and lift irrigation in a huge manner. There is a need to give top priority to the cultivation of crops like maize cotton, pulses. The Mission Kakatiya programme from the direction of increasing limited ground water resources. Fertilisers should be used after the soil test. Milk production and development of fisheries department will also help in achieving golden Telangana. The preparation of land resource inventory to find out the characteristics soil and its suitability to various crops is also great method towards the direction of achieving sustainable agriculture sector to ensure the creation of golden Telangana.

Dr. D. Raji Reddy,

Director of Research, PJTSAU

Research is the need of the hour. Earlier, the research was done focussing on Telangana. There is a need to increase the pace of research now as the new state is formed. Plans are afoot to take them up by the state government. Telangana is the largest State in consumption of fertilisers and it is a shocking fact. There is a need to reduce them and bring it to standard national level. The more consumption of fertilizers is also increasing the production cost. The state government is giving soil Health cards to create awareness among the farmers and dissuade them from using more amount of fertilisers. The State government should also encourage the usage of more number of machines in the agriculture.

We have developed innovative seed varieties which can be sowed even in the month of August if there is a delayed monsoon. It is a good development in the context of Bangaru Telangana. The focus should also on taking the latest technologies to the doorsteps of the farmers. The union government should increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) as there is a huge gap between the production cost and sale price. The state government can also provide a similar relief to the farmers at least for the next

Dr. G Bhupal Raj,

Director of Extension-

Telangana is predominantly characterised by raided agriculture when compared to other states. When we compare our productivity with those developed nations and even compare it with other states of the country, it is very low. Our farming methods are also completely scientific. During the last years, the State had witnessed deficit rainfall resulting in deficit production which is 36 percent lower than that of the previous years. This has led to a crisis like situation in the lives of small and marginal farmers, who constitute more than 75 per cent of all the farmers. The need of the hour is to irrigate every inch of the agricultural land possessed by the farmers.

This will at least lead to the increase in the farm productivity. It will directly have a direct impact on the net earned income of the farmers as it would increase manifolds. The state government should immediately focus on this aspect first. If it thinks that it is not viable in the existing circumstance then the state government can resort to effective usage of available water by promoting sprinkler or drip irrigation technologies in a huge manner.

When it came to unscientific farming, majority of the land type in the state red soil as it consists of less water holding capacity which is not good for cultivation of commercial crops like cotton and chilly. The entire Telangana has more than 40 per cent area under cotton cultivation. Any failure in the cultivation of the crop would have a crisis. This can be done by dissuading farmers from opting for commercial crops and opt for alternative crops.

The state government is planning to launch Mana Telangana – Mana Vyavasayam from the end of this month to promote the sowing of alternative crops. Countries like China and Israel are hugely promoting drought tolerance crops. The government should take up research of the drought tolerance crops. There is a need to discourage farmers from the excess of fertilizers. This can be done by issuing soil cards to all the farmers.

Dr. P Saidaiah,

Horticulture Scientist

Ours is an agriculture dependent State. Our concerned areas are marketing of the produce viz-a-viz price realisation and controlling of price volatility. The farmers are not getting the remunerative price for their produce. This has to be addressed on a priority basis. The farmers are also deprived of the quantum of credit required by them. The crop insurance should be given not on the basis of mandals. This is not correct. The crop insurance should be given on the basis of individual farmers on the similar lines of life insurance policies. This will directly help the farmers and provide them the succor in times of crisis. The storage capacity is also very small in the state.

This is leading to chaos among the lives of farmers as they are forced to sell off their produce for lesser rates than what they are entitled to get. The state government should also increase the storage capacity to help the farmers of the state. A market stabilization fund of Rs 2,000 crore has to be set up immediately for helping the farmers in emergency situations. If these steps are followed the state government can achieve Golden Telangana very soon as these measures will help it turn the Agriculture sector as a remunerative enterprise.

Dr. N Vasudev,

Scientist Agriculture Economics

The farmer’s welfare should be given top priority and the farmers suicides should be prevented as far as possible by the state government first. Provision of generous subsidies is not the solution the solution lies in encouraging them to invest in the agriculture sector by extending financial aid and implement buy back up system. This system can solve 60 per cent problems faced by the agriculture sector. The children of farmers should give financial to their children in order to send them to schools and colleges. Cooperative farming should be given top priority in Telangana and there should not be any scope for corporate farming. Seed production areas should be identified across the state and a select group of farmers have to be supported by the government.

Dr. B Vidya Sagar,

Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Hyderabad

Without the rural economic transformation, the dream of Golden Telangana will not be possible. The simple reason for this is that as per the socio-economic profile of Telangana which was brought out by the Telangana State in August 2014, agriculture and allied sectors account for only 13 per cent of the State’s GDP. If you only take agriculture other than livestock and fisheries he crop sector accounts for only five per cent of the total GDP. As per the latest sample survey of NSSO, 90 per cent of the farmers from Telangana have some or other debts.

The rural per capita household income in Telangana is Rs 78, 000, which is just 47 per cent of the urban household income. Out of this, total household income and non-farm income is only eight percent, which was about 11 percent 10 years. It means that the non-farm income has decreased drastically in the last 10 years. It is a very dangerous sign for the State government. From 2004 to 2014 in 10 years’ time, a total of 25,000 farmers have committed suicide in Telangana and AP state. The eight districts of Telangana and two districts from AP account for 90 per cent of these suicides. This shows the magnitude of the agrarian crisis in Telangana. Therefore, without addressing the key issue of the agrarian crisis and in general rural crisis as a whole, you cannot achieve the Golden Telangana.

The first solution is the promotion of the value added agriculture is important for increasing agricultural income and as well as to provide rural employment for skilled youth. It will ease the pressure from cities like Hyderabad which accounts for 25 per cent of the total percent population in its two percent of land area. Smart village concept has to be promoted widely for the promotion of villages.

Dr. Aldas Janaiah,

Associate Dean, Agriculture College of PJTSAU, Jagtiyal

Agriculture is the primary sector in the country. It is the foundation for the development all other sectors like manufacturing and service sector. However, the growth rate in agriculture sector is -33 per cent during (2013-14). Last year, it stood at 107 lakh metric tonnes, this year it stood at 64 lakh metric tonnes. There is a huge deficit. However, the state government is yet to take any relief measures to help the ailing farmers’ community. The state government can harvest at least one crop in Telangana, which is unique it the entire country, by utilising the Krishna being wasted in the State. The state government should resurvey the agricultural lands as it was done long back in 1940 and issue pass books to original farmers.

It should also provide seven hours of uninterrupted power to the farm sector. The state government should increase cultivated land in underground water from 10 percent to 30 per cent immediately. The cultivation of pulses should also be encouraged. The farmers should immediately transfer the loans availed by the farmers in its name as it would enable farmers to avail fresh loans. The vacant posts extension officers in agriculture department have to be filled immediately.

Sarampally Malla Reddy,

prominent farmer leader

The all-round development of the State and the realisation of Golden Telangana are only possible when the villages of the State are developed. Unfortunately the focus of the State government is centered towards Hyderabad city and its development. No problem related to farmers was solved during the last one year rule of the State government. If the problems are related to small and marginal are solved then there would be no migration of labour to the city form rural areas. The budget allocated to the agriculture sector by the State government did not cover aspects like suicides of farmers, drought problems and other issues. The state government has done very little for the welfare of farmers even after the presentation of two budgets.

M Kodanda Reddy,

Chairman, Kisan Keth Mazdoor Congress