Hyderabad, Dec 2 : Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday suggested paddy farmers in the state go for alternative cash crops such as groundnut, cotton, black gram, moong daal, and Bengal gram which have demand in the market.

He said that it is better to go in and focus on other crops, instead of cultivating only paddy and try to change the crop pattern in the state.

His advice came two days after announcing that the government will not procure paddy in the ensuing Rabi season in view of the decision by the Centre not to lift the paddy from the state.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, made a surprise visit to agriculture fields in a couple of villages. After his visit to Jogulamba Gadwal district on Thursday, he stopped at Rangapur and William Konda Thanda villages in Wanaparthy district and examined the black gram, and groundnut crops cultivated by the farmers.

At Rangapur, he walked into the field of farmer Maheswar Reddy who is cultivating black gram. He also examined groundnut crops cultivated by another farmer Ramulu. From both the farmers, he elicited information regarding what price both the crops are getting in the markets, how much is the yield, and how many times one should water the crops.

The farmers told KCR that due to change in the crops, and land fertility has increased and led to more yield. The Chief Minister also examined the paddy laid on the road for drying in Williamkonda Thanda. He also examined groundnut crops cultivated by another farmer Gokari Venkataiah. He enquired about the cultivation methods and the yield. He plucked a few groundnut plants and examined the nuts. Venkataiah told the CM that due to adequate availability of water and power, the yield has increased.

The farmers were pleasantly surprised to see the Chief Minister in their fields and they took pictures with him.

KCR instructed Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy to encourage crops that have demand in the markets. He was accompanied by Ministers Niranjan Reddy, V. Srinivas Goud, MLC Goreti Venkanna, MLAs A Venkateswar Reddy, Marri Janardhan Reddy, Harshavardhan Reddy, Guvvala Balraju, Jaipal Yadav, District Collector Sheikh Yasmin Basha, agriculture officers and others.

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