Hyderabad: Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy today asked the horticulture officials to formulate an action plan as there was every scope of getting more funds from the Planning Commission in the ensuing five year plan.
The Chief Minister held a detailed review meeting on Horticulture with Minister for Horticulture Ramreddy Venkat Reddy, and other Horticulture officials at the Secretariat here on Wednesday.
The Chief Minister enquired about the progress achieved in the various schemes of the Horticulture department such as National Horticulture Mission, Rashtriya Krushi Vikas and Yojana, Oil Palm Development Scheme. He also reviewed the progress in the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, flowers, oil palm under the Andhra Pradesh Micro Irrigation Project.
Officials informed the Chief Minister that since 2003, the area under cultivation in Horticulture has increased by 22.73% while the production has increased by 72.25%. Annual plan for 2011-12 has been prepared with Rs 1,234 crores. New initiatives launched by the department are semi permanent sprinkler system, cold storage rentals, good agriculture practices, assistance to borewells and diesel electric pumps for oil palm cultivation and urban horticulture.
In this connection, the Chief Minister launched Horticulture Alert System, a Voice Message system to inform the farmers on horticulture schemes, weather and pesticide related matters.
The Chief Minister asked the officials to take immediate steps to set up cold storage units in Ranga Reddy, Medak and Mahbubnagar districts which supply majority of vegetables and fruits to the twin cities. He also directed the Finance department officials to clear the dues amounting to Rs 59 crores of the Micro Irrigation department for 2009-10 and ensure phase-wise clearance with regards to the dues pertaining to 2010-11.
LETTER TO UNION MINISTER ON OIL PALM
The Chief Minister recalled his letter to the Union Minister for Agriculture, Mr Sharad Pawar, wherein he had asked to provide funds for oil palm cultivation in the State in order to reduce the import of palm oil spending crores of rupees. The Chief Minister asked the officials to take steps in this regard.
The Chief Minister assured to look into the issue of stopping collection of VAT charges from oil palm farmers. He advised the officials to study the latest technology developed on tomatoes where they do not lose their freshness even ten days after being shifted from the cold storages.
The Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Horticulture, Mr C V S K Sarma, the Commissioner of Horticulture, Ms Rani Kumudini, the Secretaries of Finance, Mr T. Satyanarayana and Mr Premchandra Reddy and other officials attended the meeting.