Plan to form over one lakh Rythu Mitra Groups

Staff Reporter

Scheme of procuring farm produce by SHGs to be extended to all parts

Raghuveera Reddy takes part in a meeting of agricultural officersState tops in seed replacement ratio Formation of Sheep and Goat Federation under consideration

GUNTUR: The State Government is keen on forming about one lakh Rythu Mitra Groups (RMGs) with tenant farmers as members all over the State during the current financial year to extend better credit facilities to them, according to Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy.

The Government was also considering extending the scheme of procuring foodgrain from farmers by members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) to all parts of the State after its success in Telangana region, he said here on Saturday.

At a meeting of Agricultural Officers of seven coastal Andhra districts here, he said that the scheme, which was launched experimentally in Telangana districts was a runaway success. It was launched primarily to curb the influence of middlemen in the sale of agricultural produce.

Farm production

"Till now, the SHGs procured four lakh tonnes of maize, paying the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers at their doorstep. This resulted in a saving of Rs.100 crores for farmers," Mr. Reddy said. Despite the recent floods and unseasonal rain, the agricultural production was 109 lakh tons, he said.

He commended the efforts of the agriculture officials of the State as the consumption rate of inorganic pesticides came down to 1,800 tons from 4,000 tons during 2001-2002. Andhra Pradesh topped the country with a Seed Replacement Ratio (SRR) of 35 per cent against the country's average of 17 per cent due to the farmer-friendly policies adopted by the Government.