AP Govt dares Oppn to conduct study on agriculture growth

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Hyderabad, Jun 22 (UNI) Taking exception to the Opposition Telugu Desam Party's allegation that the agriculture sector was in deep crisis in Andhra Pradesh since 2004, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today dared the Opposition to conduct an independent study on the growth of the sector and its impact on the State's development.

Challenging the TDP to prove its allegations with evidence, Dr Reddy, in a statement here, said the government was ready to appoint eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan or Jayathi Ghosh or noted journalist P Sainath to conduct the study. The Opposition was also free to appoint anybody to conduct the study.

Claiming that the average agricultural growth in the state had been 8.65 per cent in the last four years as against 2.76 per cent from 2000 to 2004 during the previous TDP regime, he said the State had achieved an all-time record by producing 197 lakh tonnes of foodgrain this year.

Alleging that the previous TDP Government had neglected the farming sector completely, resulting in farmers committing suicides, the Chief Minister said agriculture turned out to be a profitable business and proved that his Government was farmers-friendly.

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