Agri Business

No-maize diktat faces opposition from farmers

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 20, 2020

The Telangana government’s decision to shun maize in the rabi season didn’t go well farmers’ unions. They argue that a blanket ban on growing certain crops could lead to mono-cropping and impact biodiversity.

Demanding the State Government to buy the produce from the kharif harvest, Telangana Rythu Sangham wanted the government to allow farmers to grow maize. “It is used as food, feed for the poultry industry and as a raw material for producing ethanol,” P Janga Reddy, President of the Telangana Rythu Sangham, has said.

Under the maiden Regulated Cropping System, the State government asked the farmers not to grow maize, which is generally grown on about 10-12 lakh acres. However, farmers went ahead and grew it on 2 lakh acres. In the advisory for the upcoming rabi season too, it repeated the advice. It, however, put a cap of one lakh acres.

Local culture

Aribandi Prasada Rao, a senior farm activist, felt that the area was confined to just paddy, cotton and red gram. “This is not a correct strategy. This leads to monocropping, adversely impacting diversity of crops,” he said.

The government should factor in the local food culture while fixing the limits for different crops. “The Government should initiate measures to procure the stocks from the farmers at the minimum support price announced by the Central Government,” T Sagar, Secretary of the association, said.

Blaming the Centre for reducing the import duty on maize was reduced to 35 per cent from 50 per cent, he asked the State Government to oppose the move. “We need to stop the maize imports, which are detrimental to the interests of the farmers,” he said.

He found fault with the Government’s attempt to put the blame on farmers for growing maize,” he said.

Published on October 20, 2020

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