Hyderabad: With the bootless expansion of real estate business in neighboring districts of Hyderabad city, the agricultural activities especially in Rangareddy and Vikarabad area – that once considered as ‘Vegetable Hubs’ in the state is rapidly plummeting with more and more farmers are parting away their arable lands to realtors thereby impacting the regular supplies of veggies to the city.
It is said that the non-implementation of subsidy schemes through the horticulture department is the major reason that casting a shadow over the vegetable cultivation in both the districts resulting in a steep increase in the prices of leafy vegetables in the city.
These districts, till recently, were considered as a major source of vegetables to over a crore population of Hyderabad city as Rangareddy and Vikarabad predominantly known for growing and supplying leafy, bloomed and bulbed vegetables that flock every day to the city markets.
For example, the mandals like Rajendranagar, Shamshabad, Chevella, Shankarpalli, Moinabad, and Shadnagar in Rangareddy district and Vikarabad, Nawabpet, Mominpet, and Podur Mandals in Vikarabad District are predominantly known for vegetable cultivation where until recent the plush green fields could be seen till the eyeshot.
However, the bootless real estate boom has a direct bearing on the agrarian activities in these districts where farmers preferring to give up full or part of their arable land to realtors than keeping their ancestral profession continues.
“More and more farmers are giving up the farming profession owing to no implementation on subsidy schemes besides no proper prices for their produce during seasons and extra operating cost on cultivation. To continue growing veggies, he said, farmers need to count on subsidy schemes being implemented by the government through the Horticulture department which were swept under the carpet for now,” rued Prahlad Reddy, a farmer who used to grow vegetables in Rangareddy District.
“Earlier, the drip irrigation system and sprinklers that were considered as necessary components to grow vegetables, being provided by the government through subsidy schemes. Besides, subsidies on tractor purchase and other tools also facilitate through the implementation of the scheme without any delay. However, the pace of implementing such schemes protracted one after another leaving the farmers in distress,” he bemoaned.
“Almost 50 percent of the veggies to Hyderabad markets like Gudi Malkapur and Boinpally come from Vikarabad. However, farmers are incurring heavy losses as there are no proper payback prices offered for their products in those markets. Consequently, many farmers throw their tomatoes wayside on the roads while returning from the markets. There was no proper season-related advice, planning, and awareness being provided to vegetable growers,” informed Yarrayalli Jafar, Mandal Co-Option Member, Vicarabad who also grows vegetables.
Most of the farmers, he said, sell their products to retail counters being set up by private outlets like reliance fresh, heritage fresh, etc locally just to avoid any volatile situation in the markets at Hyderabad. “The lukewarm response from the horticulture department makes the farmers think twice before growing vegetables or applying for subsidy schemes. For them there is no option other than parting away their land to real estate,” Asserted Jafar.