Fertilisers and diesel price hike affecting farming: Harish Rao

Hyderabad: Telangana finance minister T Harish Rao on Monday urged officials from the agriculture department to encourage farmers to take up cotton farming.

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Assessing the increasing demand for crops such as cotton and soya bean, the minister urged that the cultivation of such crops should cover more acres. Rao emphasized the availability of fertilizers before the rainy season commences.

The minister went on to say that the BJP who came to power in the Centre in the name of agriculture, has hampered the investment in agriculture due to increased fertilizer prices.

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Addressing a meeting at the Sangareddy Collectorate, Rao said the Telangana government is providing investment support through Rythu Bandhu. Since the chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao has kept his promise of providing irrigation water to one crore acres, Rao said that Telangana has become the largest cultivator of paddy in India during the Yasangi season.

However, he has accused the Union government of maintaining double standards in paddy procurement policy. While it was procuring 100 percent paddy and wheat harvest from Punjab farmers, he further said that the Union government has refused to buy Yasangi paddy from the state despite repeated appeals from the state government.

Despite all the challenges, he said that the chief minister has decided to procure paddy by spending the amount worth Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore. He further said that they have already spent Rs 4,500 crore on paddy procurement in the past since the Centre did not pay the costs of gunny bags, tarpaulins godown rents, and interest.

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