Agriculture Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah said that the State government had taken steps to support horticulture farmers during Covid times, ensuring they get proper price for their crops and ensured transport goods.
Speaking at a media conference on Saturday, she said that in the State horticulture is being taken up in 17.84 lakh hectares with nearly 312 lakh MT of fruit production, justify the State being called ‘Fruit basket of the Country.’ The entire mango harvesting is 46 lakh MT, of which 70 per cent of the harvesting has been done already and special focus has been laid on mango processing by creating awareness to the farmers right from village level through RBKs.
She said that from the last four months, measures have been taken for smooth transport of crops to avoid inconvenience for the farmers and supporting the Mango farmers in Covid times, crops have been transported through 27 Kisaan Rails.
Further, Poonam Malakondaiah said that the government had supported farmers by providing MSP to perishable goods like chilli, turmeric, banana and orange, and also established Price Stabilisation Fund with Rs 3000 crore. To benefit the farmer community, the government has taken a historical decision of announcing MSP for the 23 crops significantly grown in State that were not considered by the Centre.
The State government is currently providing Rs 7000 per quintal for Chillies, Rs 6850 for Turmeric, Rs 770 for Onion, Rs 2500 for minor millets, Rs 800 for Banana and Rs 1400 for Sweet Orange. Besides these, the government also introduced graded MSP for Groundnut and Bengal gram.
She said that 25 fruit processing units will be set up across the State enabling farmers to earn more profits. Asserting that RBKs at village level had created a profound system, she said that the State government had enabled all these RBKs as crop purchase centres benefiting farmers at harvest time. Also, she announced that the foundation stone for the construction of 2,000 warehouses will be laid on July 8.
Further, she stated that the government will be using drone technology soon for spraying fertilisers especially in horticulture crops and will be certifying the good practices through an independent organisation for providing better market rate for the crops.
Drawing comparison with the previous government, she stated that 11,22,912 MT of crops excluding paddy have been procured during 2014-2019 at a cost of Rs 3921 crore. However, the current government had procured 19,30,199 MT crops in the last two years at a cost of Rs 6348 crore.