Hyderabad : State Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy urged the Centre to bring in the much-delayed Seed Act, to curb the flooding of spurious seeds in the market and to take stringent action against the erring seed companies.
During a review meeting convened by the Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya, Srinivas Reddy urged him to take up of the problems being faced by the agriculture sector in the State with senior officials of Union Agriculture Ministry.
Srinivas Reddy said that the State government has been spending huge sum for the development of agriculture sector and asked the Union Minister for generous release of funds to various State schemes so as to achieve its target of doubling the income of farmers in the country by 2022. He also emphasised on the need to implement the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission to improve agriculture sector in a phased manner.
Expressing concern over the growing gap between input costs and Minimum Support Price (MSP) for various crops, he sought release of funds to the State government’s farm mechanisation initiatives to reduce the input cost for the farmers. Further, he asked for the linkage of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with agriculture sector to reduce the burden of input costs in the sector.
Encouragement to the educated youth evincing interest in establishing poly houses under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana scheme, release of funds to the 1,450 mini soil labs, bringing changes in the Prime Minister Fasal Bhima Yojana taking farmer as a unit, funds to establish cold storages at 10 places in the State were among other issues which Srinivas Reddy had sought the Union Minister’s intervention.
Explaining the loss caused to the chilli farmers in the State due to drastic fall of prices, he asked the Centre to release funds through market intervention to procure chillies through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
Taking stock of the issues the Union Minister had assured to take up the matter with the ministries concerned and to get them resolved at the earliest.
‘I will apprise the Union Agriculture Minister of the plight of Turmeric and red chilli farmers in the State. Earlier, the rate of Red Chilli was at Rs 14,000 per a quintal, but now it was reduced to Rs 4,000 due to various reasons. I have asked the State Agriculture Minister to send a detailed report on this”, Dattatreya said.