KfW, a German development bank, will assist the Andhra Pradesh government with a Rs 711 crore loan for expanding the climate-resilient Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in the state over the next five years.
The state government will spend another Rs 304 crore on the project under which 2.39 lakh farmers in 591 village panchayats will be encouraged to take up ZBNF, Agriculture Minister K Kanna Babu said.
KfW Director Christoph Kessler, Andhra Pradesh Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Poonam Malakondaiah and Rythu Sadhikara Samstha co-vice-chairman T Vijay Kumar signed the project agreement in the presence of Babu in Amaravati on Wednesday.
The ZBNF project is being undertaken by the state government, dovetailing the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) of the Centre, with the Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives extending technical support.
It has already launched ZBNF is over 3,011 villages covering an extent of 1.28 lakh hectares.
With the German financial assistance, the project will be scaled up to touch two lakh hectares.
KfW will also provide a Rs 7.9 crore grant for financing independent verification, and audit; baseline-midline-end line review and evaluation and related studies of the ZBNF project, according to the Agriculture Minister.
Kanna Babu also launched a toll-free number on Wednesday, 1800 599 3366, for enquiries related to the insurance scheme launched by the YSRCP government. The helpline will be functional from 10 am to 10 pm.
Earlier this week, Kanna Babu claimed that the government had implemented about 80 percent of the promises made in the manifesto. "The decisions taken by our government are a role model for the entire country," he said.
YSR Rythu Bharosa for financial assistance to farmers, interest-free loans, free insurance for farmers, free borewell and free power supply to farmlands are among the schemes announced for farmers, he pointed out.