HYDERABAD: While Telangana achieved record paddy output in the last few years, it still has a deficit of 56.65 lakh tonnes of 10 important essential commodities. An assessment report prepared by the government, available with TOI, shows the state faces huge shortage of vegetables – up to 11.77 lakh tonnes per year. The government’s recent decision to encourage farmers to take up demand-based farming is in this backdrop to make the state more self-reliant, sources said.
The consumption and deficit assessment has been made on the basis of Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR) recommendation of various commodities for a person in a year. The ICMR recommends that a person should consume 118.6 kg of vegetables in a year. At that rate, four crore population of Telangana must consume 47.5 lakh tonnes of vegetables, but the deficit production was 19.40 lakh tonnes. In 2019-20, 28 lakh tonnes of vegetables were produced in the state.
Of the 14 types of essential commodities, whose availability has been estimated, the state has failed to produce enough quantities of pulses, edible oil, oil seeds, vegetables, onion, potato, ginger, garlic, coriander and tamarind.
Telangana doesn’t produce tamarind, grows 320 tonnes of coriander
Interestingly, potato, ginger, coriander and tamarind are the main ingredients of cuisine in the south, including Telangana. But the state does not produce tamarind at all, while it produces just 320 tonnes of coriander.
Apart from vegetables, the state sees a shortage of 11.73 lakh tonnes of edible oil. Also, the potato production has a deficit of 8.81 lakh tonnes. All the deficit essential commodities, the imports, mainly come from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.
“The state government’s demand-based farming is in this backdrop. The agricultural scenario is very encouraging because of water availability, but farmers traditionally stuck to some crops, while the soil in Telangana is not suitable for some. If the consumption and demand are taken into consideration, farmers can get good rate and dependence on other states will come down,” a top government official said.