Our Bureau

Hyderabad, March 8

THE Union Minister for Agriculture, Mr Sharad Pawar, had agreed to examine the issue of fixing minimum support price for chillies following a request from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, here on Tuesday.

Dr Reddy called on Mr Pawar who was on a visit to the city and urged him to ensure that NAFED comes forward to purchase chillies along with the State Marketing Federation (Markfed) from farmers to arrest the fall in prices .

Mr Pawar assured the Chief Minister that he would ask the Managing Director of NAFED to look into this, according to a State Government press release on Tuesday.

With regard to Dr Reddy's request for the Centre's participation in cloud seeding operations in the State, Mr Pawar asked the Chief Minister to send recommendations of the workshops on cloud seeding operations held in the State so that it could be taken up as a Central scheme in AP, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Dr Reddy is expected to meet Mr Pawar again on April 6 in New Delhi to discuss these issues in detail along with aspects pertaining to horticulture development and livestock administration in the State.

Meanwhile, Mr Pawar has asked agricultural scientists to see that high quality and a variety of agricultural products are made available to the consumers.

Mr Pawar feels that the opening up of the economy has given an opportunity for the country's farmers to become a global partner and to increase the productivity of crops.

Mr Pawar also reviewed the activities of the Directorate of Oil Seeds Research and the National Institute of Agricultural Extension and Management here on Tuesday.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 9, 2005)
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