The State government has initiated steps to encourage cultivation of superfine varieties of paddy on about 35 lakh acres during the coming Vaanakalam (kharif) agricultural season by asking officials concerned to position the required seed varieties in advance.

Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy held a meeting with agriculture officials, including Secretary B. Janardhan Reddy and Vice-Chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University, here on Saturday on the preparedness for pushing cultivation of the superfine paddy varieties. As suggested by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the focus should be on encouraging farmers to take up varieties which have demand in market rather than the ones which are not consumed much.

Mr. Niranjan Reddy said of the 40 lakh acres covered under paddy during the last Vaanakalam season, the superfine varieties were cultivated on 23 lakh acres. It should be increased to about 35 lakh acres as the total extent of paddy was expected to go beyond 40 lakh acres this year, he noted.

He sought a report from the officials on the superfine paddy seed varieties available within the State. He also instructed the agricultural university authorities to extend necessary advisories to the farming community from time to time for the cultivation of superfine varieties.

Chairman of Telangana State Seed Development Corporation K. Koteshwar Rao and Managing Director K. Keshavulu were among those who attended the meeting.

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