Telangana farmers cut paddy area by more than 50%

K. V. Kurmanath | | Updated on: Jan 10, 2022
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Paddy’s loss is gain for pulses, oilseeds, maize

With the Union Government ruling out procurement of parboiled rice that is grown during the rabi season, farmers in Telangana seem to be woken up to the reality, moving away from sowing the cereal.

Farmers have sown paddy only on 2.30 lakh acres as of now as against 6.90 lakh acres during these same period a year ago.

The loss of paddy is the gain of pulses, oilseeds, maize and millets. While the area under oilseeds has gone up to 3.51 lakh acres against 2.20 lakh acres during the year-ago period, the area under pulses has increased to 4.07 lakh acres (3.23 lakh acres).

The area under maize has increased to 2.02 lakh acres, up from 1.22 lakh acres.

“The numbers are only provisional as there is still time left for the completion of rabi sowings,” an official of the Agriculture Department said.

As of today, sowing has been completed in only 13.13 lakh acres against the season normal of 46 lakh acres. The State, however, had reported a total cropped area of 54 lakh acres last year, including 39 lakh acres of paddy.

“We expect the area to be reduced by at least 50 per cent in the season. I am quite sure about it. The remaining area would be under paddy because farmers have a tie-up with millers. There will not be any burden (procurement) on the government,” S Niranjan Reddy, Minister for Agriculture (Telangana), told BusinessLine .

Centre’s stance

After the Union Government asserted that it would no longer procure rabi parboiled rice from Telangana, the Chandrashekar Rao Government launched a campaign, asking the farmers not to grow paddy and look for alternatives.

“You can grow only if you have purchase agreements with millers and other bulk buyers. You must look at shifting away to other crops,” Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said.

Even as the issue became political with the BJP Government at the Centre and the TRS Government in Telangana locking horns, farmers unions and non-governmental organisations have backed the idea of reducing the paddy area in the summer season.

The Centre said it would not be able to buy parboiled rice stocks from Telangana as its granaries are overflowing with inventories that can last for 3-4 years.

Published on January 10, 2022

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