ANDHRA PRADESH

Deadline for farm inputs' release

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: The State Government will make available agricultural inputs and funds at the district level for the coming crop season latest by May 20.

This assurance was given by the Agriculture Minister, N. Raghuveera Reddy, at a meeting of agricultural officers here on Saturday to gear them up for the "rytu chaitanya yatra'' programme from April 25 to May 15.

Mr. Reddy said the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, would launch the programme at the State level here and Ministers would follow suit in their respective districts. The launch would be preceded by training programmes for officers and staff at district and mandal levels on April 20 and 21 and a videoconference with Collectors on April 22. Observers would be sent to every district on April 20.

Appealing to agricultural officers to take the Government initiative to create awareness among farmers about right techniques of production seriously, he asked them to ensure that the programme did not clash with the ongoing Praja Patham. He advised them to visit all villages as part of the programme to educate farmers about crop diversification, water management, artificial insemination and other issues. They should see that every farmer had a copy of "rytu panchangam."

Action plan ready

Mr. Reddy said the agriculture action plan of the Government was ready. It was prepared with inputs from all over the State.

The Minister maintained that agriculture could no longer be viewed in isolation. A holistic approach was needed involving all allied activities. He said farmers no longer wanted subsidies. They demanded exposure to new techniques with emphasis on less investments. The Agriculture Commissioner, Poonam Malakondaiah, asked the visiting teams to collect soil samples from every village. Some one lakh samples were proposed to be tested before kharif.

The Principal Secretaries -- A.K. Goyal (Agriculture) and G. Sudhir -- (Marketing), spoke.

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