In order to increase farmers’ income in Andhra Pradesh, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has joined hands with the State government. An ICRISAT-led consortium is the knowledge partner in the Andhra Pradesh Primary Sector Mission and for this initiative; the consortium is bringing knowledge generating institutions along with knowledge disseminating institutions such as line departments to achieve double digit growth in the State.
“We need to work together to achieve higher levels of growth with science-led interventions in the Primary Sector Mission and Andhra Pradesh should become one of the top three states in the country,” said Prathipati Pulla Rao, Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Marketing, Government of Andhra Pradesh, while addressing the participants in the two-day Andhra Pradesh Primary Sector Mission – Action Plan Preparatory Workshop, held at the ICRISAT campus in Hyderabad.
“Officers should work towards building a confidence among farmers, using their vast experience and skills. Farmers need to be motivated to achieve the goal of higher benefits,” Rao further added.
Ensuring suitable marketing and price support, pursuing value-chain enhancements and processing through public-private partnership (PPP), minimising financial losses by tackling post-harvest losses, and developing infrastructure for processing, storage and value addition, were the main topic discussed in the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, SP Tucker, Special Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Andhra Pradesh, stressed the need to adopt value chain approach and Farmers Producers Organisations (FPO) to ensure benefits for the farmers. He also highlighted the need to ensure international and national marketing linkages, infrastructure for storage, insurance and most importantly price stabilisation mechanisms.
Different task force groups to work on insurance and scientific trends of production of different commodities by analysing global data and policy support groups of secretaries were also formed.
Tucker also emphasised that issues like micro-nutrient deficiencies, high fertiliser application in coastal areas, low milk yield, expansion of maize in water depleting regions, improving quality to target international markets, promotion of banana and vegetables, also need attention. He exhorted the group to come up with clear strategies for the respective sectors.
Dr Peter Carberry, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT assured full support to the State government for the mission.
Over 220 officials from 13 districts headquarters including scientists from ICRISAT and other CGIAR centres attended the workshop. Representatives from NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), Centre for Good Governance, Andhra Pradesh State Universities of Agriculture, Horticulture, Livestock and Fishery also participated and shared their expertise on different issues of primary sector and prepared district-level action plan that would serve as the basis to prepare Mandal-level action plans.