Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao directed the Agriculture Department officials to formulate horticulture policy taking into account the soil and climatic conditions in the State as well as its history, heritage and requirements.

For promoting horticulture crops on a large scale, he emphasised the need for encouraging research activities and suggested strengthening Konda Laxman Bapuji Horticulture University in the State. Besides reorganising the Horticulture Department and strengthening it with additional staff, he asked the officials to take all measures to protect the agricultural markets in the State irrespective of the new farm laws introduced by the Union government.

At a high level meeting at Pragathi Bhavan here on Friday, the Chief Minister announced establishment of a Centre of Excellence in 300 acres on the campus of Prof Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University. The objective is to develop and promote modern cultivation methods for horticultural crops in the State. 

Necessary funds will be allocated in the forthcoming budget for improving the infrastructure of the Horticulture University and strengthening it further. He wanted the authorities to increase the number of seats available in the agricultural polytechnic colleges at Vantimamidi and Ramagiri Khila.

In view of the increased responsibilities, Chandrashekhar Rao emphasised the need for reorganisation of the Horticulture Department by decentralising the work. In addition to the existing Commissioner of Horticulture, he suggested appointment of four senior officers as in-charges for handlings issues pertaining to cultivation of fruits and orchards, vegetables, palm oil and other horticultural crops. He also directed the officials to complete the process of promotions and ensure adequate staff, besides conducting required training programmes.

Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy, Government Chief Adviser Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Agriculture Secretary B Janardhan Reddy, Horticulture Commissioner Venkatrami Reddy, Konda Laxman Bapuji Horticulture University vice chancellor Neeraja and other horticulture department officials, attended the meeting.

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