Andhra Pradesh

One lakh acres more ayacut togive major push to horticulture

Officials exchanging MoU documents in the presence of Minister K. Kanna Babu in Guntur on Saturday.

Officials exchanging MoU documents in the presence of Minister K. Kanna Babu in Guntur on Saturday.  

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Digital Call Centre to disseminate info on best practices inaugurated

Minister for Agriculture K. Kanna Babu has said that an additional ayacut of one lakh acres will be created for cultivating horticultural crops this year.

The State government has been giving highest priority to cultivation of horticultural crops, and will ensure that the income of the farmers is doubled, the Minister has said.

The Minister was addressing the farmers on Saturday after signing an MoU with the ITC - Agricultural Business Division, to set up an Integrated Agri-Business Platform in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Commissioner for Horticulture Chiranjeevi Chaudhary and Chief Executive of ITC-ABD Sanjeev Rangrass exchanged the documents in the presence of the Minister and the MLAs.

Pilot project

Earlier, Mr. Kanna Babu inaugurated a Digital Call Centre set up to pass on information about best practices in agriculture through a mobile application in Telugu. The ITC is piloting a project with 4,000 farmers drawn from Guntur, Prakasam, Krishna and Kurnool districts.

The ITC will also work with the government to set up ‘Pradarshana Kshetrams’, a village-level demonstration plot, designed as model farms.

The demo plots would show the deployment of farm mechanisation solutions for addressing labour shortage, ease of operation and integrated pest management techniques, and bio kits (safe chemicals) for reducing pesticide usage.

The exercise would also help farmers in the post-harvest management techniques, which includes protected drying through Silpaulin, farmer format chilli dryer and usage of new gunnysacks for storage and packing.

Further, the farmers would be provided the digital App, called e-Choupal 4.0, through which farmers get news, alerts, package of practices on latest chilli cultivation and other crop information.

Financial assistance

Under this partnership, the Horticulture Department provides financial assistance on adoption of good agricultural practices, including supply of IPM Kits, tray seedlings, tarpaulin usage, packing material etc.

Mr. Rangrass said that food safety had been a major concern across the world, and added that the agri extension platform would help the farmers in increasing their yields and producing a crop free from any pesticide residue.

Mr. Chiranjeevi said A.P. was the largest chilli-producing States in India, and explained that the chilli farmers had been at the receiving end of nature’s vagaries.

Ponnur MLA Kilari Rosaiah said that chilli produced in Guntur was among the most preferred variety in world, and added that this initiative would go a along way in addressing the concerns of farmers.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:32:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/one-lakh-acres-more-ayacut-togive-major-push-to-horticulture/article29608859.ece

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