Union Minister underlines need to promote agri exports

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Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje on Monday underlined the need to promote agriculture exports which could facilitate doubling of farmers’ income within a reasonable timeframe.

The Central government would work closely with the state government to propel India as a major exporter of agriculture products, she said.

Addressing senior agriculture officials of Telangana and the Central government at BRKR Bhavan, the minster emphasised the need to have a dedicated cell to monitor agriculture exports which would coordinate with the Centre, the state government, APEDA and the farmers to ensure that the farmers get value addition to their produce.

Karandlaje complimented the state government for taking up ambitious programme of growing oil palm in 20 lakh acres in the state which would help save the country lots of foreign exchange.

State Agriculture, Cooperation and Marketing Mionister S. Niranjan Reddy briefed the Union Minister about the various initiatives of the state government which had resulted in 38 per cent increase in crop area and 68 per cent increase in crop production during the last seven years.

He stated that the focus of the state government is to increase profitability for the farmers, retain rural youth in agriculture, achieve crop diversification, farm mechanisation, increased emphasis on horticulture especially oil palm, and improving nutrient and fertiliser efficiency.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar referred to the Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project as an engineering marvel and which has resulted in increasing ground water level. He also drew the attention of the Union Minister about the innovative schemes, such as Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima and Rythu Vedikas, which are being implemented only in Telangana.

Agriculture Secretary Raghunandan Rao said that irrigation, power, investment support, extension systems, input supply, infrastructure support, and social security for farmers are the major drivers of the exponential growth of agriculture potential in the state.

Karandlaje also visited the Centre of Excellence (vegetables and flowers) at Jeedimetla.

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