Agriculture experts and officials in Telangana have cautioned farmers against opting cultivation of corn during the current season, as it is not likely to get even Minimum Support Price (MSP).
At a high-level meeting on crop cultivation and marketing on Saturday, officials told Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that adverse conditions prevailed in the country for cultivation of corn, and it is not advisable to go in for that crop in the state now.
They said that with the policy decisions taken by the Centre on corn import, corn is not in a position even to get MSP.
According to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), they also said that the new farm legislation brought in by the Centre, which allows anybody to sell the agriculture produce anywhere, and the reduction of taxes on the import of certain commodities has become a curse on the poor farmer.
The meeting was told that in the international market, there was a surplus of 28 crore metric tonnes of corn. As on date, there is a need for 2.42 crore metric tonnes of corn in the country but 3.53 crore metric tonnes of corn is available.
This would mean the country has a surplus of 1.11 crore metric tonnes. To add to this, corn is cultivated in 2.04 crore acres in the country and 4.10 crore metric tonnes will soon hit the markets. With this, there are enough stocks of corn available not only for this year but also for the next year.
"To make the matters worse for the local farmers, the Central Government had decided to import 5 lakh metric tonnes. The Centre also reduced the import duty on Corn from 50 per cent to 15 per cent, which will result in the corn, produced in the country not getting any MSP and will put the corn farmers to more misery and heavy losses," the CMO said.
Agriculture Minister Niranjan Reddy said that in order to get Telangana farmers a reasonable price for the corn, the state government had discussions with the poultry farmers. Since states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP are quoting a very cheap price for the poultry feed, poultry farmers in the state are not ready to buy the corn produced within the state.
Officials said that those farmers who want to go for corn cultivation despite the fact that they may not get any MSP are free to do so.