AMARAVATI: NABARD has decided to give a total amount of Rs 2,11,865.38 crore to the primary sector of Andhra Pradesh state. In the state credit seminar held here on Thursday, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy released the state focus paper for 2020-21 year. NABARD has mentioned Rs 1,34,402.52 crore as the agriculture loan in the focus paper.

Addressing the seminar, the Chief Minister said that Andhra Pradesh is an agriculture-dependent state with 62 percent depending on agriculture. There are vast opportunities for agriculture and related sectors in the state. The state is in top position in the Aqua and Fisheries sector. 'The entire country is facing a recession now and this effect would be more on primary sector; agriculture,' he said.

He asked NABARD members that the priority should be given to the agriculture sector on which a majority number of people are dependent. ‘Our schemes were not implemented anywhere previously. About 46 lakh people have been covered under Rythu Bharosa,’ he said. He further said that 60 per cent of farmers have less than one hectare land and 50 per cent of farmers have half hectare land. All these farmers are being provided with Rs 13,500 every year. About 80 per cent of agriculture investment is being provided by the government and the government on behalf of farmers is paying insurance premium. He said Rs 3,000 crore has been allocated for price stabilization fund to rescue every farmer from loss.

The Chief Minister also said the government has announced a minimum selling price for the crops. He mentioned that Rythu Bharosa centers are equipped with Kiosk, internet, selling of tested and qualitative seeds and fertilizer. The government has entered into agreements with various companies that establish hubs in mandals to ensure that the items will be provided to farmers within 24 to 48 hours from the time they are ordered.

He said that more than 11,000 Rythu Bharosa centers would be established by the upcoming Kharif season. He thanked NABARD officials for cooperating in establishing agri-labs. He said that there is a requirement for setting up of more number of cold storage units and godowns. Apart from these, the government is planning to establish a food processing unit in every parliamentary constituency and later that would be extended to assembly constituencies.

Talking about the small scale businessmen, he said loans would be given to them and the government would pay the interest amount that it has to pay. ’I think about 5,000 members would be there in every assembly constituency. All of them have to be given with credit cards and a loan of Rs 10,000 each,’ he said and added that these people can be linked to village secretariat or self-helping groups.

He said Polavaram project is major project in the state. ‘We have spent about Rs 5,000 crore and approximately Rs 500 crore interest is being paid for that. Funds are not being released on time,’ he said and asked NABARD members for full- fledged cooperation. He mentioned that the current grant of Rs 1800 crore was also given to PPA from NABARD. It requires at least Rs 10,000 crore every year for R&R works and Rs 6,000 crore is required for civil works for the current year. He requested NABARD members to focus on the Polavaram project.

Addressing the gathering, Minister for Agriculture, Kurasala Kannababu said that the Chief Minister is expecting new trends in agriculture and planning to increase the value for the agricultural products. He further stated that the government is having a proposal to establish one food processing unit in every parliamentary constituency across the State. "We are also planning to increase the storage capacity, where every Mandal would have a minimum storage capacity of 5000 metric tonnes. Also cold storage will be established in large scale across the state. Rythu Bharosa centres are being operated successfully in all villages and NABARD has to come forward to support them," he added.

Government Advisor Ajeya Kallam said that the government has created employment for 10,000 members through village secretariats and is going to utilise their services for effective implementation ofthe state government schemes. Soon kisan credit cards and loans will be provided to the farmers through village secretariats.

The State stood as a role model to other states by establishing disaster management fund and also by fixing up the minimum support price for the crops. We are going to offer our complete support to the primary sector," said NABARD Chief General Manager Selvaraj.

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