AP Govt plan to boost agriculture growth

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Hyderabad, Jun 11: Spurred by 12 per cent growth in agriculture, Andhra Pradesh Government today came out with an integrated action plan involving 21 departments and institutions working for farmers and having a combined allocation of Rs 32,074 crore, to boost further the growth of the agriculture sector.

Releasing the Integrated action plan, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy told reporters here that agricultural growth had been lagging behind the industry and services sector during the earlier TDP regime as the combined allocation was only Rs 4,280 crore.

During 2007-08, the farm sector had overtaken the overall growth rate of 10.64 per cent by 1.36 per cent, due to the Government's various initatives, including Jalayaganam (irrigation initative).

Expressing satisfaction over the state achieving an average agricultural growth of eight per cent in the last four years as against the national growth target of four per cent, Dr Reddy was confident of achieving foodgrain production of more than 200 tonnes in 2008-09, as against 191 lakh tonnes achieved in 2007-08.

The foodgrain production was only 136 lakh tonnes in 2003-04 as the previous TDP Government had branded agriculture as ''sheer waste'', he said.

Highlighting the steps taken by his Government to boost agriculture growth, he said 50,000 model farmers were deployed at the rate of 200 to 250 farm holdings over and above the recommendations of noted farm scientist Prof M S Swaminathan to appoint one model farmer in each village to educate farmers on newer agronomic practices to cut down cost of cultivation and improve productivity.

The high growth in agriculture was made possible with implementation of a Rs 925 crore 'Rashtriya Krishni Vikas Yojana', National Food Security Mission with an outlay of Rs 77 crore to increase production of rice and pulses and the Prime Minister's package for farmers with a budget of Rs 9,650 crore in three years.

Stating that 80 per cent of the state's farmers were benefitted by the Rs 72,000 crore loan waiver scheme and the remaining were uncovered by the scheme, were being paid Rs 5,000 each, he said Rs 500 crore was allocated for farm mechanisation.

UNI

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