Farming should be a Sunrise Sector: Naidu
Krishi cabinet to make agriculture profitable
Soli health management to help farmers
VIJAYAWADA: To make agriculture remunerative, profitable and sustainable, the government would form a “Krishi Cabinet” that would look into the challenges of the primary sector, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said.
Addressing a conference on Primary Sector Mission in Vijayawada on Friday, Naidu said “Krishi Cabinet” would be formed to make agriculture remunerative, profitable and sustainable. Stating that the farmers of Andhra Pradesh are progressive and early adapters of new technologies, the chief minister emphasized on benchmarking the state to reach international standards.
“ Farming should be a sunrise sector, ” he said, adding that in the last one year, the government took up several flagship programs like Neeru-Chettu, Polam Pilustondi, soil health management, and so on. “All these initiatives are receiving good response, but we need to work harder to take to the end-user in the chain,” Naidu said.
He also elaborated that the state has appointed additional joint collector and made in-charge of the Primary Sector Mission at the district level. Support of ICRISAT and NABARD has proved beneficial, he said, adding that successful water management would yield better results.
From processing facilities to supply-chain management, soil testing, micro-nutrient balance, farm mechanization, increasing ayacut area to value addition, everything should be streamlined, he said.
“Soil health management has helped our farmers reduce cost of cultivation by improving productivity,” he added. To revive agriculture, the chief minister said that the state government had spent a lot of money to improve productivity and had gradually shifted to chemical-free farming. All the growth engines identified under the Primary Sector Mission – agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and livestock and fisheries – will generate huge revenues and have the potential to grow manifold, he said.
Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Vijay Kumar informed Naidu that the Centre lauded the Andhra Pradesh Government for showing results by collecting 3.70 lakh samples for soil health management and using technology through geo-tagging. An integrated system of farming was also suggested with a certificate course on farming.
That apart, Naidu, highlighting the potential of aquaculture, asked officials to focus on Water University while the government is also planning to have working universities in agri-business.
“The government is also working on capacity building of our human resources,” he added. Underlining the fact that Andhra Pradesh is facing a revenue deficit, the chief minister said the government is, therefore, experimenting with new models to generate revenue. For example, the state government is planning to give 5-lakh acres under micro-irrigation to annuity model.
“If Banana cultivation is the strength of a region, we need to increase the area of cultivation by reducing the input costs. This way, we should not only focus on soil health, but also generate revenue through exports,” he opined. He also asked district collectors to prepare an action plan for all growth engines and execute it as planned within certain fixed timeframes.
“Every programme should reach up to village-level. What we need is accountability and target setting from department to district-wise, mandal-wise, village-wise and farmers-wise,” he added.
Cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary Krishna Rao, Principal Secretary to CM Satish Chandra, district collectors, joint collectors and others were present at the conference. (NSS)