Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today laid foundation stone for Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticulture University in Medak District. The establishment of this Horticultural University comes in response to the Budget announcement made by Finance Minister of to establish Horticultural University in the State of Telangana along with one more Horticultural University in Haryana and two Agricultural Universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh said, “Owing to dry climate, Telangana state has huge potential for increase in the acreage of dry fruit crops like custard apple, pomegranate, fig, ber, aonla, sapota and guava. The state has huge potential for horticulture.”
“Immediately after getting the response, Rs. 10.00 crores has been released to this Horticultural University in the financial year 2014-15. In the current financial year 2015-16, an amount of Rs. 75.00 has been allocated and out of which Rs 37.5 crores has already been released as first installment,” he added.
“With establishment of this university, we are confident that the agricultural education and agriculture in general and horticulture in particular will get much needed boost. ” he added.
India is now amongst the leading countries in production of horticultural crops especially fruits, vegetables and spices. Globally, second largest producer of fruits and vegetables being largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew, papaya, pomegranate; ranking first in productivity of grapes, banana, cassava, peas and papaya and also the largest producer and exporter of spices. Under the prevailing unreliable climate conditions, growing horticultural crops is the best alternative for improving the economic status of the farmers.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, the horticultural production in the last two years has gone up from 268 million tonnes to an estimated over 283 million tonnes during 2014-15, while the area has remained static around 23 million hectares. The enhanced production and availability of fruits and vegetables will surely help to improve the household nutritional security alongwith food security. Undoubtedly, the research contributions of our research institutions and the agricultural universities have played a major in this development.
Telangana state occupies a prominent place in the Horticulture map of the on account of congenial soil and climatic conditions for growing different horticultural crops country and as a result horticultural crops are grown in all the 9 districts. The State ranks first in Turmeric production and as producer of total fruits and spices. Custard apple (Seetaphal) is becoming a highly remunerative crop.
“I am happy to know that the best variety of custard apple (Balanagar) is from Mahaboobnagar district of Telangana and good quality planting material of the crop is being produced from this Medak district and supplied throughout the country,” the Union Minister said.
“The growth and development of agriculture in our country is considerably driven by our institutions of higher agricultural education and research. India has one of the largest agricultural education and research systems in the world with the largest number of scientific personnel of any developing country except China,” Singh observed.
Telangana government has launched a massive campaign to promote poly-house farming in the state in 1000 ha with a financial outlay of Rs 250 crores. This is to encourage farmers to produce and supply vegetables and flowers to cities at profitable rates to overcome shortage of vegetables and flowers.
“We expect that the establishment of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University at Medak certainly helps in the human resource development to make Telangana as a horticultural hub exploiting the available resources and climatic conditions which are highly suitable for overall development of horticulture in the state.” Singh said.