Is it possible for one to work out the Returns on Investment (RoI) in a sector like agriculture where income is out of the tax bracket? This question is all the more pertinent and relevant in the case of Telangana where land is in the higher reaches than the course of the two major rivers — Godavari and Krishna — making lifting of water the only solution for irrigation. There is virtually no scope for surface irrigation in the State on account of its land contours, vis-a-vis the rivers, leaving the State government with no choice but to go in for lift irrigation schemes like the prestigious Kaleshwaram and Palamuru Rangareddy projects. In fact, these and other similar schemes are part of a major livelihood support intervention by the government.
The money spent on such projects and meeting their energy needs is intended to save the lives of farmers, who were under huge distress and had given up hopes on agriculture activity. The water security initiative of the government, which has already begun paying off, coupled with welfare schemes, would go a long way in placing the rural economy in an entirely different orbit. Agriculture, as Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has repeatedly insisted, should be a profit-generating venture, ensuring that the farmers’ purchasing power goes up. This would result in a ripple effect and have a major positive impact in rural Telangana, and in the process, contribute to the State coffers, albeit indirectly.