Staff Reporter

Special training sessions being organised for ryots to upgrade their skills

Kakinada: The Horticulture Department has targeted expansion of the areas under cultivation of cashew, mango, sweet orange, tissued culture banana and pineapple by 350, 250, 125, 50 and 22 hectares respectively to achieve higher yields during 2008-09 in Kakinada horticulture division. The total cost of area expansion of those crops was estimated at Rs. 27 lakh.

A bigger component of this year’s action plan is rejuvenation of mango, citrus and cashew crops in 200, 100 and 600 hectares at a cost of nearly Rs. 85 lakh, Assistant Director of Horticulture (Kakinada) B. Sreenivasulu told The Hindu. While the obvious aim of area expansion is to generate higher returns for the farmers, due emphasis was laid on educating them about the advantages of growing horticultural crops as alternatives to paddy as the heavy dependence on it (paddy) is needed to be reduced.

The small and marginal farmers are being encouraged to take up cultivation of horticulture crops instead of entirely depending on paddy which is relatively costly proposition. Subsidies and incentives are given to them for achieving good results.

For administrative convenience, the district has been divided into Kakinada and Rajahmundry divisions. Horticulture officers have been posted at Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Ainavilli, Tuni, Amalapuram, Addateegala, Tetagunta, Kothapeta, Jaggampeta, Korukonda and Rampachodavaram.

Special training sessions are being organised for farmers at Hyderabad and Eluru to upgrade their skills and also keep them informed of the latest developments in horticulture.