The state government is contemplating to stop collecting VAT (value added tax) from palm oil farmers to encourage cultivation of palm oil farms in the state. Further, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy wrote a letter to Union minister for agriculture Sharad Pawar requesting him to provide more funds for palm oil cultivation keeping in view the demand for palm oil which is being imported.
Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, horticulture minister R Venkata Reddy said horticulture cultivation has increased by 22.73 per cent and horticulture production by 72.25 per cent during last year. The horticulture department has prepared an annual plan with an outlay of Rs 1,234 crore for the year 2011-12 for development of horticulture crops in the state.
Kiran Kumar Reddy wanted officials to arrange cold storage facilities in Rangareddy, Medak and Mahaboobnagar districts from where vegetables and fruits were being supplied to Hyderabad.
The government is planning to increase the subsidy for farmers cultivating horticultural crops. It has also been decided to allow farmers to sell mangoes and other such fruits directly in rytu bazaars from next year to check middlemen, the minister said.
The chief mini s ter launched an SMS-based horticulture alert system to provide information to farmers on the government schemes, weather conditions and agriculture tips.