AP sets up new body to empower farmers, implement debt relief

AP sets up new body to empower farmers, implement debt relief - Sakshi Post

The Andhra Pradesh Government on Saturday issued formal order constituting a body which will operationalise its farm sector debt redemption policy and also serve as a one-stop-shop for welfare and empowerment activities targeted at farmers in the State.

Farmers' Empowerment Corporation (FEC), which will be headquartered in Vijayawada, around which the new Andhra capital will come up, is to become fully functional by October 22, a date announced earlier by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

The Finance Department has been ordered to release a sum of Rs 5,000 crore from the 2014-15 Budget estimates to the Corporation for onward transmission to the eligible banks and farmers to operationalise the farm sector debt redemption policy, according to Chief Secretary I Y R Krishna Rao. The FEC would be a one-stop-shop for all farmer development, welfare and empowerment activities, he said.

It would be assigned a central role in implementation of the proposed Primary Sector Mission, to be launched in Anantapuram district by former President A P J Abdul Kalam on October 6, to provide boost to agricultural development. The Government has recognised that farmers' welfare and development activities at present are handled by multiple entities that include different corporations and societies.

Further, there is no single entity with the capacity and wherewithal to effectively deliver all farmers' empowerment activities, Rao noted in his order. The Corporation would act as an integrated agency that would be responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring of welfare, development, capacity enhancement, and other activities that would empower the farmers to achieve higher productivity and value addition to the farming sector.

It would assist, advise and provide inputs to the Government for formulation of effective policies for the empowerment of farmers and for accelerated development of farming sector, the Chief Secretary said. Principal Secretaries of Agriculture, Finance, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture & Marketing and Co-operation departments would be founder-directors of the Corporation. However, no head of the institution has been appointed yet and the Chief Minister is expected to make an announcement in this regard at the launch event.


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