With record 68.53 lakh acres of crop area, KCR scripts Yasangi fortunes in Telangana

The all-time record cultivation in terms of the irrigated acres stands testimony to the relentless efforts of KCR, whose vision has changed the face of agriculture in Telangana

With record 68.53 lakh acres of crop area, KCR scripts Yasangi fortunes in Telangana

HYDERABAD: Proving the pessimists and Kaleshwaram skeptics wrong, Telangana has created a record of sorts in Yasangi (Rabi) cultivation by growing paddy and other crops of the season in an extent of 68.53 lakh acres during the ongoing agricultural year (2022-23). The all-time record cultivation in terms of the irrigated acres, which surpassed the previous best of 68.17 lakh acres in 2020-21, stands testimony to the relentless efforts of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), whose vision has changed the face of agriculture in Telangana in the last eight years.

Out of the 68.53 lakh acres where the Yasangi crops are being grown during this agricultural year, paddy cultivation alone accounted for a whopping 53.08 lakh acres, signifying once again as to how Telangana is fast emerging as the rice bowl of India. More interestingly, the crop area also shows a quantum jump with a mind-boggling increase by close to 49 lakh acres since the time Telangana became a separate state. With the likelihood of more cultivation details trickling in for two more weeks, the authorities of the Telangana agricultural department are staring at the prospect of the country’s highest extent of crop cultivation this season.

Coming off ages from an era where the onset of Yasangi (Rabi) used to be dreaded most for near-drought-like conditions, the transformation of agriculture in Telangana in the last eight years has some key contributing factors. Abundance of irrigation water in reservoirs and other water bodies, promising groundwater tables that were well and truly replenished and last, but not the least, the incentives in the name of crop investment support extended under the Rythu Bandhu scheme by the BRS Government are some of those quintessential components. But at the core of all this is one man’s dream that has successfully been translated into a reality with determined initiatives since he assumed charge as the Telangana Chief Minister in 2014.

Gone are the days when Yasangi would only spell doom with parched lands bearing wide cracks all over and helpless farmers turning daily wage earners to eke out a living. In flat eight years, the agriculture scenario witnessed a complete makeover. Farmers no more grapple with the elusive irrigation water. Instead, they are vying with one another now to irrigate vast extent of lands.

The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP), the brainchild of KCR, has arguably turned out to be the lifeline here. Besides the abundance of irrigation water, the uninterrupted free electricity and crop investment support being given by the BRS Government have resulted in the multifold increase in the crop area. Telangana registering a record high of 68.53 lakh acres where crops are being grown during the current Yasangi is a culmination of these advantages, made possible by the KCR Government’s steadfast approach to redefine cultivation methods in the state.

Even as Telangana bettered its own record of 2020-21 (68.17 lakh acres) in this process, the new height it achieved will also be special as the numbers have surpassed even those registered under the undivided Andhra Pradesh. As per the data released by the Telangana Agriculture Department, the extent of paddy crop cultivation has also significantly increased to 53.08 lakh acres during the current Rabi season. The department officials are estimating a further increase in the numbers as there are a good 10 more days still before the curtains come down on the Yasangi season.

The unprecedented increase in crop area is certain to be the most heartening outcome for the BRS dispensation and the agriculture authorities as Yasangi (Rabi) was almost always viewed as cursed and synonymous with acute water scarcity, but only until 2014. As a result of the all-encompassing measures by the KCR Government – be it positioning the Kaleshwaram project as the pivot for the revival of agriculture, the Mission Kakatiya which ensured adequate water in all water bodies, the uninterrupted farm-sector electricity supply and a host of farmer-friendly schemes – Yasangi is no more a season of distress. Witnessing a staggering increase by 48.61 lakh acres in the crop extent in the last years, it is back on track, having been revived to its past glory of a thriving season.

While there were only 19.92 lakh acres that were cultivated in Yasangi in 2015-16, the number has now burgeoned to 68.53 lakh acres, with the likelihood of a further rise before the season ends this year. Similar is the case with the paddy success story during the season. As against 7.35 lakh acres in 2015-16, the extent of paddy cultivation until now this year has shown an increase of 45.73 lakh acres, which is yet another significant accomplishment in itself. In a nutshell, paddy cultivation in Telangana has increased by seven times in the last eight-odd years, a statement that perhaps vindicates the agri-renaissance in the state.

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