Hyderabad: Prior to 2014, majority of the horticulture farmers were confined to conventional farming practices, which was increasing their input cost, besides resulting in lot of water utility.
Considering these factors, soon after State formation, Telangana Government provided micro irrigation equipment to horticulture farmers under huge subsidy across the State. The result is phenomenal.
In a span of eight years, the State Government spent Rs.2,048 crore towards subsidy on micro irrigation equipment, including drip systems and sprinklers were provided to farmers.
In return, the State Government and farmers reaped direct and indirect benefits of nearly Rs. 9,455 crore. Strikingly, majority of the farmers, who reaped these benefits are SC, STs, small and marginal ryots.
Under the micro irrigation project, since 2014-15 financial year, drip irrigation systems were provided to 5.42 lakh acres and sprinklers were arranged in 2.36 lakh acres. In the last eight years, micro irrigation equipment were installed in 7.78 lakh acres across the State.
Compared to the conventional farming practices, the provision of micro irrigation system equipment aided in saving 25.54 tmc of water and the power utility reduced by 1,703 units. In terms of revenue, the power savings are worth Rs.76.67 crore.
Apart from savings, the move extend micro irrigation system has increased the crop production by 52.30 per cent, resulting in additional benefits to the tune of Rs.2,049 crore. Labour component cost reduced by Rs.94 crore.
As a part of the micro irrigation project, 2.91 lakh farmers were benefited due to the supply of drips and sprinklers. As a result, at present 19.78 lakh acres are being cultivated using micro irrigation equipment. After State formation, micro irrigation equipment was installed in 7.79 lakh acres.
As many as 1.38 lakh farmers were benefited under the NABARD assistance during 2016-17 and 2017-18. Among these, nearly 1.14 lakh are small and marginal farmers (including 27,535 SC and ST farmers) and they installed drip and sprinklers in 2.74 lakh acres.
Of late, Telangana Government is promoting crop diversification and encouraging farmers towards horticulture crop cultivation.
At present, different crops are being cultivated in 2.14 crore acres in the State and of these, horticulture crops are cultivated in 11.57 lakh acres (5.39 per cent). The total yield of horticulture crops is 59 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT).
Vegetables are cultivated in 2.23 lakh acres (yield 22.03 LMT), fruits are cultivated in 4.24 lakh acres (yield 24.07 LMT), aromatic oils cultivated in 3.56 lakh acres (yield 8.51 LMT) flowers in 9000 acres (yield 47,000 metric tonnes.
In addition to these, medicinal and avenue plantations nurseries are taken up considerable area. Agroforestry is taken up 86,000 acres and sericulture nurseries are being raised in 3,000 acres.
Telangana stands first in terms of turmeric crop acreage and production in the country and ranks second in chilly crop acreage and production. In oil palm cultivation, Telangana ranks sixth in acreage and second in production.
Though, the horticulture crops cultivation cover only 5.39 per cent of the total agriculture area in the State but they contribute 26 per cent in terms of value of the produce.
To encourage more farmers take up horticulture crops cultivation and train them in using advanced technology and latest farming practices, the State Government has set up two excellence centres at Jeedimetla, Medchal district and Mulugu, Siddipet district. Already, 3,936 farmers, who were trained at these two centres, are taking up vegetables cultivation in 4,552 acres.
To go as box report
In 2021-22, over 83,000 acres were brought under the micro irrigation project limit with an expenditure of Rs.166 crore. Accordingly, 31,084 farmers were getting benefited. In 2022-23, the State Government through horticulture department has targeted implementation of micro irrigation plans worth Rs.1,218 crore.
Micro Irrigation features in the State (2014-15 to 2021-22)
– Drip irrigation systems provided to 5,42,253 acres
– Sprinklers provided to 2,36,589 acres
– 2,91,486 farmers benefited under micro irrigation project
– Rs.2,048 crore spent by State Government towards subsidy on drip and sprinklers provided to farmers
– Compared to past, 25.54 tmc water saved
– 1,703 units power saved (Rs.76.67 crore financial savings)
– 52.30 percent increase in production
– Labour cost for farmers reduced by Rs.94 crore