The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday signed memoranda of understanding with 11 premier agricultural institutions in the country to usher in “revolutionary changes” in the sector through technology and knowledge transfer to farmers in the state.
The institutions will provide “holistic technical assistance”, leading to sustainable increase in farmers’ income using organic and natural farming processes.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy supervised the exchange of MoUs between the state Agriculture Department and institutions, including the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), National Institute of Plant Health Management, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Central Fertiliser Quality and Training Institute and National Seed Research and Training Institute at his camp office in Amaravati.
Speaking on the occasion, Jagan said that 11,158 “path-breaking” Rythu Bharosa Kendras would be set up across the state by June, which would be manned by agriculture, horticulture, veterinary and aquaculture assistants to guide farmers in best practices.
Quality seed, fertiliser and pesticides, guaranteed by the state government, would also be made available at these centres.
“We will bring in best farm management practices and train farmers in organic and natural farming. We will announce the minimum support price before cropping begins, and if required, the government will purchase the farm produce to ensure farmers do not suffer any loss”, the Chief Minister said.
He said there was a need to enter into partnership with more firms in natural farming as well as agricultural marketing.
Agriculture Minister K Kanna Babu said the “innovative Rythu Bharosa Kendras” would play a key role in knowledge transfer to farmers.
Animal Husbandry Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, Civil Supplies Minister K S V Rao, Agriculture Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah and other senior officials were also present.