Agri Business

After record output, Telangana asks farmers to shun paddy this rabi season

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on September 14, 2021

‘Union Govt says it’s not going buy parboiled rice grown in summer’

After achieving a record production of paddy over the last few seasons, lakhs of farmers in Telangana now face a challenge in the upcoming rabi season.

The State government has asked them not to grow paddy in the summer season as the Centre asserted that it is not going to purchase rabi production. The key rabi crop in Telangana is parboiled rice, which is consumed in neighbouring States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

With godowns overflowing with rice across the country, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) told the Telangana government that it’s not going to procure parboiled rice. It said it would buy 60 lakh tonnes of kharif rice (white rice) this year.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday discussed the impending challenge and decided to tell the farmers to consider growing other crops.

The State government procured paddy last rabi season after dilly-dallying for weeks. “We procured over 92 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice last year. This year, they are growing the crop on 55 lakh acres. This could give us an output of 14 million tonnes of paddy,” a Civil Supplies Department official said.

Riding on the back of a bumper production, Telangana contributed to 63 per cent of FCI’s total procurement last rabi marketing season.

The fact that millers are already saddled with about seven million tonnes of paddy reflect the enormity of the challenge. Officials suggest that instead of paddy, the farmers should look at growing groundnut, soya and other oilseed crops and vegetables to save themselves from a difficult situation in the summer season.

GV Ramanjaneyulu, Chief Executive Officer at Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, feels that it’s a 180-degree turn around by the State government in a year. “If the cropping patterns are not based on local resources, needs and only driven by skewed policies this is what is going to happen,” he pointed out.

Problem of plenty

The State has increased its production of paddy from about three million tonnes in 2015-16 to 30 million tonnes last year, making Telangana one of the largest producers of rice in India.

The area under paddy has gone up to 40.46 lakh hectares in 2020-21 against 14.6 lakh hectares during the period.

Published on September 13, 2021

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