Andhra Pradesh tops the states in the production of fish and exports 23 lakh tonnes of aquatic food products, state Agriculture Minister Prathipati Pulla Rao said. Participating in a conference on ‘Agriculture investment opportunities in Andhra Pradesh’ he said that the state was the largest producer of fisheries, live stock, horticulture and many agriculture-related products and there was a need for international companies to adopt farmlands.
Taking a cue from the model adopted by the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, Rao called agriculture-related industries to adopt farmlands and guide farmers in using advanced farm techniques to get better income with less investment.
On the vast sources and facilities being provided by the government, Rao asked agriculture-related companies to avail the opportunity and help the farmers. The minister mentioned that they had set a target of 5 lakh hectares in the initial phase of the project and the government had been waiting for the companies to take the initiative.
On the occasion, Rao said that there was a need to encourage and educate the farmers on soil testing and crops suitable for different soils. The welfare of farmers being the top priority of the government, Rao said that the Chandrababu Naidu government would support the farmers by providing all agricultural inputs on subsidy. The minister also said that compared to previous years, even though there had been a deficit of 36 percent rainfall in the state, they concentrated on agriculture growth.
Small Farmers Agricultural Consortium, New Delhi, managing director Parvesh Sharma pointed out that dynamism seen in the Indian economy was not visible in agriculture and asked why they were lagging behind in the agriculture sector. “There is a need to rope in the private sector and technology for agricultural development, so that farmers can benefit,” he added.
Rural Development Minister Ch Ayyannapatrudu said that excess production had been bringing huge loss to the farmers. The government should educate them on the yield and the process to get higher yields.
Meanwhile, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Labour Minister K Atchannaidu spoke about the need to infuse advanced technology in agriculture and asked companies to help the farmers.
Representatives from 45 agriculture-related companies were present at the conference, where they presented their features and profiles.