Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana unveiled an ambitious Rs. 98,940- crore annual plan for agriculture and allied sectors for the 2013-14 marking an increase of 24 per cent over last year.

Presenting the first of its kind plan in the Assembly on Monday after changing it from “agriculture budget,” Mr. Lakshminarayana said it included a provision for Rs. 25,962 crore encompassing plan and non-plan components and Rs. 72,450 crore agriculture credit plan.

“It will usher in a new era for farmers and suggest solutions for the problems engulfing the sector for decades,” he declared. Describing it as innovative initiative of Kiran Kumar Reddy government, he said it was aimed at giving special focus to agriculture and allied areas.

All departments dealing with land and water have been included in the plan, he said.

These are agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, sericulture, forest, co-operation, irrigation in command area development, ground water, food processing, marketing, ware-housing and sugar department. A “concerted and synergetic effort” was envisaged as 60 per cent of the population depended on agricultur.”

Agriculture continued to be a major source of employment, but faced crisis frequently. It was linked to several departments but lacked convergence, he said. This would ensure close coordination among various departments, address production and post-production problems, and cost -effectiveness in the technological interventions.

Some of the objectives of the annual plan listed out by the Minister include setting up of Agriculture Technology Mission to accelerate the sector’s growth rate, identify best crop management options to enhance productivity of the selected crops by 25 per cent and build capacity of the stakeholders.

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