Telangana government has decided to withdraw its newly launched Regulatory Farming policy under which the state government had advised farmers to sow specific crops according to market demand, after the very first season. The decision came following a review meeting after officials told the chief minister the state has incurred losses amounting to Rs 7500 crore while paying minimum support price for crops which have no demands in the market since its formation of the state in 2014.

The decision to give up the Regulatory Farming policy which was launched prior to the monsoon this year might be prompted by the fiasco created after Food Corporation of India refused to allow the state government to pay even a single rupee over and above RS 1888 per quintal for the super fine variety of paddy.

According to a communique from the chief minister’s office it was opined: “Henceforth it is better if the state government stops advising the farmers on what crops they should cultivate and where. The government should stop issuing guidelines on the crops to be cultivated. There is no need for Regulatory Farming Policy. Farmers should decide themselves what crops they should cultivate.”

During the meeting Rao declared that all farmers in the state would be given financial assistance under its input subsidy scheme from tomorrow till January next year. A total of Rs 7515 crore will be given as financial assistance to be distributed among 61.49 lakh farmers at the rate of Rs 5000 per acre, covering almost 1.52 crore acres of cultivated land. The subsidy will be deposited directly into the bank accounts of the farmers. Earlier the state government had declared that the input subsidy will be given to only those farmers following its directive about what crops to sow.

While discussing the heavy losses incurred by the government officials pointed out the crops which were bought by the state included paddy, sorghum, maize, red gram Bengal gram and sunflower. Though the state government had purchased these agriculture produce by paying MSP it had to sell them at lower prices since there was no demand for these crops. “The government is not a business organisation or trader. Sale and purchase is not the responsibility of the government,” read the communique from the chief minister’s office and went on to add: “The new farm laws allowed the farmers to sell their crop anywhere. Hence, the state government need not set purchase centre in the villages as there is no need. But sale and purchase at the agricultural markets should be done properly.”