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AP to involve cos in contract farming

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, Jan. 23

IN a strategy paper for integrated development of agriculture and allied departments, the Andhra Pradesh Government has charted out a route map which includes contract farming by roping in corporates by developing fallow and degraded forest lands, post-h arvest management mechanism, consolidation of land holdings, development of cold storage banks and ensure cost-effective production mechanism.

The Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Tuesday said that the State enjoys a pre-eminence in respect of crop production. ``It would be his Government's endeavour to increase production and reduce cost of production to make it nationally and inter nationally competitive.''

Releasing a strategy document, Mr Naidu said that a panel of experts has been constituted to analyse and suggest ways to address the issues and concerns relating to the WTO norms and the possible impact on farm produce in the State as also suggest ways t o address these issues.

Development of agro-industrial parks with forward and backward linkages, encourage contract farming for major feed ingredients, creation of exclusive zones for attracting private investments and development of fishing harbours are among other major initi atives.

With close to 30 per cent of the State gross domestic product (SGDP) coming from the agriculture and allied sectors, which provide employment to about 65 per cent of the State's population, Mr Naidu said unless scientific methods of farming were adopted with comprehensive extension mechanism, it would not be in a position to make it price-competitive.

While the Government has already initiated a mandal-wise action plan with focus on rainfed agriculture, integrated nutrient manufacture, and dovetailing farm credit mechanism, it is further planned to consolidate land holding at the farmer level through incentives.

The Government further envisages promotion of custom hiring centres for agro machinery, promote soil testing facilities in the private sector, plan to establish one research station for each district as a nodal centre for all research activities.

The document has identified dairy and poultry as one of the growth engines. Its vision envisages planned growth by developing dairy and poultry value chain. It has envisioned a growth rate of 7.6 per cent for dairy and 5-6 per cent for poultry industries .

Collection of market intelligence mechanism to provide information to neutralise mismatch between production and demand, promotion of food processing sector, establishing weather forecasting centres in each district, development of agro industrial parks with forward and backward linkages, and use of Ku-band and C-band transponders for providing the necessary information on farm sector are among the other major initiatives.

Related links:
AP plans major farm initiatives

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