Telangana Government Requested Seed Companies to Help Farmers.

Agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said that seed manufacturing companies should ponder on farmer's issue and figure out ways they can contribute to reduce the difficulties.

Srinivas Reddy was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day 8th National Seed Congress here saying that the issue assumes importance when one considers that as many as 62% of those involved in agriculture were marginal farmers while 24% are small farmers.

Agricultural scientists, representatives of private seed manufacturing companies and central and state agriculture officials among others are attended the conference.

The minister said that the Telangana government will introduce a post-graduate level course in seed production at its agriculture university and would consider introduction of crop insurance for farmers involved in raising crops meant for seed production.

He also said that Telangana government had requested seed companies to adopt at least one village from each of the 100 Assembly constituencies where agriculture is the primary activity and if the companies have agreed to do so then government is determined to making Telangana the seed production centre for the world.

The minister said, 2.9 lakh hectares (HA.) was being used by about two lakh farmers to grow seeds for various crops in the state and this Kharif season, 36,450 farmers from 1,458 villages cultivated seed crops in 14,500 HA. The output is expected to touch 3.35 lakh quintals. Telangana used to import about 2.5 lakh quintals of soybean seed but now, the state is all set to grow its own seed for the crop in one lakh hectares.

The agriculture minister said that Telangana is home to about 400 private seed processing units, produces 670 tonnes of seed an hour and exports them to 14 countries. The state supplies 60 per cent of the seed used in the country.

Special secretary of Telangana agriculture department C Partha Sarathi said good quality seed alone can ensure a 15 per cent to 20 per cent jump in yield and the conference should deliberate also on methods that can ensure that only quality seeds reach the farmers. Instead of focusing only on low volume high margin crop seeds such as cotton, the companies should expand their activities to produce high volume low margin staple crop seeds.

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