In response to center’s reluctunt to buy rice from Telangana state, the KCR government asked its farmers to abandon paddy growing. It is now the turn of Andhra Pradesh to ask its farmers to stop cultivating paddy during the rabi season and go for the millets as an alternative crops.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged farmers to avoid growing paddy in the state and directed the concerned officials to establish a Millet’s Board and promote the formation of processing units to encourage millet cultivation.
The AP CM’s initiative follows his Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao’s directive to farmers for not to go for paddy planting during the rabi season. The Telangana government launched a campaign for alternative crops this rabi season in response to the Union Government’s refusal to purchase parboiled rice.
Millet cultivation should be encouraged
Taking a cue from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, the Agriculture Department has been asked to start a campaign empowering farmers to switch to other crops during the rabi season. He asked Agriculture Department officials to educate farmers about the importance of reducing paddy areas.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said in a review meeting in AP capital Amaravati on Tuesday that farmers should be encouraged with incentives to cultivate the millets as an alternative crop. ‘We must incentivize farmers to adopt organic and natural farming methods,’ he added.
The AP state previously had a plan to increase its paddy cultivation area by 1.0 lakh hectares to 8.50 lakh hectares from the present area of 7.50 lakh hectares . Paddy growers, on the other hand, have only sown 0.51 lakh hectares so far, compared to a total sown area of 0.94 lakh hectares.