With an aim to promote pesticide free fruits and vegetables and to check adulteration of food products, the Telangana State government is planning to spend `2,500 crore this year, said Agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy here Sunday.
Revealing the government’s plan to promote agriculture and the proposal to establish Horticulture Development Corporation, the minister said the government will ensure healthy food to the people.
“We have decided to produce pesticide-free vegetables and fruits and supply them to the public. To promote organic cultivation, we will spend nearly Rs 2,500 crores this year and increase the production of fruits and vegetables. Also, we will establish processing centres with an investment of nearly Rs 500 crore on the outskirts of the city. We will identify 300 acres of land near Mulugu and Tuniki Bollaram area to establish these processing centres,” he explained. Pointing out that use of pesticides in vegetables is posing health hazard to the public, the minister said Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has issued directions to produce healthy food. “In Telangana we have a population of about 3.70 crores. On an average, we need 65,70,000 metric tonnes of fruits and vegetables. As of now we are meeting the requirement by importing them from various parts of the country. But these imported fruits and vegetables are grown using chemical fertilisers and pesticides which pose health hazard to the public”, he said.
The minister said that chili powder, turmeric, spices and oil processed at these processing centres will be made available to the public through district centres across the state. He also added that the officials from Horticulture department will be visiting some successful processing centres in the world to see how it work and will try to replicate the same here in the city.
Source: The New Indian Express