Golden Telangana – A path for bright future
The Strategies for the development of the Golden Telangana
The following initiatives are envisaged to make the State in over all development.
• Sensitizing seed producers and companies about new and simpler technologies for accelerated process- ing of seed development and quality testing;
• Providing adequate market information; credit facility; minimize layers of middlemen; providing stor- age facilities;
• Giving incentives to seed growers and not to traders while formulating seed procurement policy;
• Establishment of contingent seed banks especially for oilseed and pulses; and encouraging castor seed production.
• Extension effort intensification, farmer education, research and development with adequate financial outlays against specific monitorable targets are proposed for weaning away the farmer from uneconomic cropping to market-based commercial cropping.
• Each village should have at least one godown and a cluster of villages, a cold storage unit, once the power situation improves.
Increased diversification of cropping pattern towards the high value crops like cotton, horticulture and vegetables selectively; community managed sustainable agriculture (cost reducing technologies with collective institutional setting); adoption of technologies like SRI to optimize water use in water thirsty paddy varieties; micro irrigation and watershed technologies like the drips and sprinkler; and provision of interest free credit are the positive aspects that can be leveraged to promote agricultural growth.
The predominant crops in specific locations can be developed as ‘crop colonies’ for raising productivity on par with best performing States.
The Task Force on Agriculture has proposed promotion of centres for hiring services for the farmers to ac- cess the machinery and equipment for cultivation in dry land agriculture; networking markets and providing price supports to the farmers as some of the policy initiatives of the government.
Tank revival project implemented in a phased manner that has components of de-silting and lift irrigation in the command of large tanks, clearing the sludge as on-going maintenance with farmer participation would make the irrigation system of Telangana sustainable.
This would also contribute to stabilizing the ground- water levels. Rainwater harvesting is another area of high importance to ensure that water yields of micro and minor irrigation structures would be kept at easily explorable levels. This is one of the priorities on the development agenda of the government. Major irrigation projects in pipeline would be accelerated with specific project based deadlines.
Crossbreeding programme is necessary for increasing milk production in the State. In select farmer-respon- sive pockets promoting exotic varieties of milk animals with appropriate ecosystem and better managerial skills involving good fodder and breed management, wallowing facilities helps enhancing milk production significantly.
Commercial dairying can also be encouraged by way of policy interventions such as giving agri- culture status, concessions in electricity tariff and providing feed ingredients at discounted prices.
Strengthening of Fishermen Co-operative Societies is needed to secure the fishermen livelihoods. Since a major portion of the area is dry and water scarce, the State is considering to develop an integrated approach of agriculture and fishery with more attention to environmental aspects.
Major carps and prawn culture can be promoted on experimental basis in these areas. However, extreme care must be given to control pollution from aquaculture.
The Forest Department has put in place the following strategy as a corrective mechanism in the shape of
The Haritha Haram program – Raise the green cover of the state from the existing 25% to 30% by taking up a massive plantation program of around 230 crore saplings by the Forest Department including social forestry wing, the District Administration through the DWMA wing with a view to improve the productivity of forests and enrich the environment and ecosystem of the State.
All degraded forests, shrub forests, vacant and communal lands, river courses, foreshore of tanks, ca- nal bunds, roadside margins and embankments, schools, colleges, institutional lands under the public and private sector, will be covered under the “Haritha Haram” program.
Establishment of greenhouses/poly houses would enhance the quality of fruit and vegetable production and marketing. Hence the Department of Horticulture is encouraging Cold Storages, Pack Houses, Ripen- ing Chambers, Plastic Crates, Farm Fresh Vegetables on Wheels, and Drying Platforms. This needs to be increased by utilizing available surplus produce.
Processing and marketing through Agricultural Export Zones with private participation is to be encouraged in the potential regions. The Extension system also needs to be strong for horticulture crops. Marketing channels need to be well developed. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Non-Pesticide Management (NPM) methods of cultivation and organic methods of farming enhance the scope for increasing exports in horticulture products.
All the farmers in agriculture and allied sectors are proposed to be fully covered with the needed insurance at low or supplemental cost, more particularly to address the losses caused on account of natural calamities like floods, cyclones and continuous spell of drought.
Minor Irrigation and Revival of Tanks
Irrigation contributes immensely to the Agriculture sector and thereby to the Socio-Economic development of Telangana State. The development of irrigation in Telangana is mostly dependent on the utilization of the waters of Godavari & Krishna Rivers and tributaries, Tanks and Ponds.
The State Government strives hard to harness the waters of both the rivers for Agriculture and Industrial development of the state. The Planned utilization of water from Godavari & Krishna is 912 TMC and 298 TMC respectively.
Completion of ongoing medium irrigation projects is a key priority area of the Government. Minor Irrigation Tanks being the lifeline of most of the villages in the state, the Government accords highest priority for repair, renovation and restoration (RRR) of the chain of tanks in a mission mode.
Irrigation system under the Kakatiyas who developed excellent irrigation technology that ensured conservation and utilization of every drop of rain water benefitting the common man in the shape of garland of tanks, has to be revived as a sustainable drought-proof measure.
Apart from the four major tanks – Pakhal, Ramappa, Lakhnavaram and Ghanpur having an yield of 5872 mn cft covering an ayacut of 11975 ha, there are 5,000 other lakes with a storage capacity of 100 mn. cft each, much larger than the Sri Ramsagar Project.
These can form a chain of tanks to provide conjunctive use to the depleting water levels in bore well and well irrigation.
The state’s focus is on universalization of elementary and secondary education and bridging the gender, location (rural-urban) and social gaps in participation at these levels which are high at present. Providing hassle free access from KG to PG is an important goal of the Government in this sector.
Partnerships with private / corporate sector in imparting quality education using innovative child friendly teaching materials and methods should be pursued to lay foundations for building the knowledge society.
The Anganwadi centres, and community based organizations should be productively engaged to achieve easy and affordable access to health services to all. The success with Nutrition –cum- Day Care Centres (NDCC) run by SHGs in the state suggests that these centres should be scaled up and strengthened to meet the challenges of improving the quality of health and nutrition services.
Convergence of ICDS and NDCC would provide cost effective nutrition to the poor children, pregnant and lactating mothers and these cen- tres would act as information disseminating and counseling centres on health, nutrition, family welfare and motherhood. The prevalence of communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS warrants that State to bestow more attention on the creation of hygienic environment, health education and food and nutrition security. Zero open defecation is the target of the State in the next five years.
The state‘s emphasis on preventive health care measures such as provision of universal safe drinking water through Drinking Water Grid, sanitation facilities and immunization of children is likely to have a significant impact on health and nutrition status of the people.
Source: THE HANSINDIA.