Andhra Pradesh to bring in latest farm technology

He said that continuous research and study were needed for developing new varieties for cultivation and adapting the latest technology

VIJAYAWADA: At a review meeting on horticulture, sericulture, agriculture and allied sectors here on Friday, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed officials to plan strategies on increasing the income of farmers in the horticulture sector by partnering with skilled institutions and globally acclaimed universities for helping farmers to take advantage of the latest technologies during cultivation.

He said that continuous research and study were needed for developing new varieties for cultivation and adapting the latest technology, especially in the field of food processing. He said that issues like discarding tomatoes on the roadside out of frustration and leaving onion crop in the fields due to lack of remunerative prices should be addressed on a priority basis. He directed officials to encourage farmers to take to high-yielding crops and focussing on onion cultivation in Kurnool district.

Reddy stressed on cultivation of coconut, banana, papaya, chilli, tomato, onion and sweet potato crops with a focus on establishing food processing units in all 25 parliamentary constituencies in the State. Officials informed that the State tops in coconut, papaya and tomato cultivation and productivity and they have taken up banana cultivation using the tissue culture process. With regard to food processing units, they said that construction works would begin in a phased manner from October.

The Chief Minister said that more attention should be paid towards chilli processing, in tie-up with international organisations. He said efforts should be made to ensure a better price to farmers for coconut cultivation. In this regard, he directed the vice-chancellor of the University of Horticulture to conduct continuous research on coconut cultivation and also to attend to the problems that are encountered.

He suggested a grievance cell at RBKs to clear doubts of farmers, preferably by agriculture assistants. He said that agriculture students must work for at least one month in a RBK as that would serve as practical lessons for them.

He wanted all suggestions and solutions given to farmers to be uploaded on digital platforms, as many more farmers will stand to benefit from the information.

Reviewing AP Micro Irrigation Project (APMIP), the Chief Minister called for transparency in granting of drip irrigation equipment, where the selection of beneficiaries should be done by RBKs. He suggested reverse tendering for procurement of equipment, as the rates would be significantly reduced and stressed on providing quality equipment at cost-effective rates to farmers.

Meanwhile, the officials have informed that during 2020-21, an additional 1,42,565 acres of horticultural crops have been cultivated against the set target of additional cultivation in 1,51,742 acres. On Sericulture, officials said that the e-auction policy has been introduced for sale of silk, which are fetching good profits to farmers.

Minister for agriculture Kurasala Kannababu, Special CS for agriculture Poonam Malakondaiah, senior officials S.S. Sridhar, Dr G. Shekar Babu, L. Sridhar Reddy, Dr Harinath Reddy, and YSR Horticulture University VC Dr T Janakiram were present.

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