Repair work on agricultural canals to be carried out in a phased manner
State government has agreed to implement almost all the recommendations of the Mohan Kanda committee and demands of the crop holiday farmers.
At a high level meeting held at the Chief Minister's camp office here on Saturday, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy discussed at length with Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarasimha, Ministers N. Raghuveera Reddy, D. Sridhar Babu, P. Viswaroop, and Chief Secretary S.V. Prasad and approved all the 15 recommendations.
The government agreed to the main demand of the farmers to close the canals between April 15 and May 15 and taking up of repairs to the agricultural canals and drainage channels in a phased manner. With regard to the Minimum Support Price (MSP), the government stated that the issue was in the purview of Centre. However, the State government pursued the issue with the Union government to raise the MSP by Rs.200 per quintal. The government said it was pursuing with the Centre the issue of declaring a bonus of Rs.200 per quintal for ensuing procurement season.
The other recommendations accepted include increase of procurement up to 45 lakh to 50 lakh metric tonnes during 2011-12. On MSP and export policy, the government mentioned about orders given for export of rice under Open General Licence System (OGLS). The government stated that as there was surplus paddy production, there was no likelihood of scarcity of rice. The government agreed to construct godowns with additional capacity of 50 lakh metric tonnes .
On the panel's recommendation to take up 3,000 Agriculture Service Centres with 100 in Konaseema region, the government opined that mechanisation was the only solution to cut labour cost.
The Chief Minister asked officials to take the consent of farmers with regard to the weather-based insurance scheme and faster distribution of input subsidy. On demand to set up regional offices of Coir Board and Oil Palm Development Board, the government asked officials to write a letter to the Centre.
On increasing the scale of finance for paddy, Government of India would take up the matter with Nabard. The government asked officials to synchronise NREGS with agricultural operations. Agriculture Insurance scheme would also be implemented in East Godavari district.
The Chief Minister said Centre has been urged to extend maximum assistance for improvement of oil palm crop which helps in huge imports by Centre. He sought Central incentive for development of fisheries production with help of INCOIS ground station inaugurated recently and dairy farming under State Milk Mission.