Agri Sector Accounts for Over 35 pc of AP’s GDP: CM YS Jagan at NITI Aayog Meet

AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy speaking at NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting in New Delhi on Sunday  -Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy attended the 7th governing council meeting of Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan's Cultural Centre in the national capital on Sunday. Various issues such as crop diversification, self-reliant mechanisms for the agriculture sector, urban development and implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) were discussed at the meeting. 

Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy highlighted the historic decisions taken by the state government in the fields of agriculture, education and governance. He said post bifurcation of the state, Andhra Pradesh became a completely agrarian state, whose 62 per cent of the population depends solely on agriculture and the agri sector accounts for more than 35 percent of the state's GDP. 
He said the state government accords top priority to agriculture and efforts are being made to help the farmers mitigate risks involved in the agriculture sector and how the pro-farmer schemes like YSR Rythu Bharosa, PM Kisan, Free Crop Insurance Scheme, Interest-free loans, and free electricity for 9 hours are benefitting the farming community.  The Chief Minister further noted that the government has also set up 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBK) across the state to streamline the process of seeds, pesticides and approved fertiliser distribution among the farmers and the support being provided to the farmers right from seeds to crop purchases. 
YS Jagan also highlighted the adoption of technological services in the field of agriculture by his government. He said the Agriculture department can monitor the crop procurement process through Continuous Monitoring of Agriculture Prices and Procurement (CMAPP). He said the state government is supporting the farmers by purchasing crops on behalf of the government and providing them with a minimum support price. 

The Chief Minister further stated that in addition to these, an e-crop booking registration facility is also being provided at the RBKs. E-crop booking is helpful in effective implementation of free crop insurance, input subsidy, interest-free crop loans, purchase of crops, etc, he said. 

Furthermore, kiosks have also been set up in the RBKs. Farmers can order seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, etc. online through these kiosks, the CM said adding, the government has set up an integrated call centre and coordinating with the agri scientists to educate farmers and give suggestions on various issues related to crops and cultivation methods. CM YS Jagan also spoke about setting up community hiring centres at RBKs level, mandal level and district level and how the farmers being encouraged to adopt crop rotation, millet cultivation and gradually take up organic and natural farming practices.

Speaking on the YSR Congress government’s focus on the education sector, the Chief Minister said the state government has recognised the right of children to go to school and study and we consider it a part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The government is making an all-out effort to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) ratio and to reduce the percentage of students dropping out of schools altogether, he said adding the country's GER ratio in primary education is 99.21 percent, while in AP it is 84.48 per cent. 

In 2018, the data released by the Union Education Ministry showed that the state's performance in the education sector was poor. Our government has come up with effective policies focusing on key issues in the field of education, YS Jagan added. 

The Chief Minister highlighted the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s Amma Vodi scheme which was launched to ensure parent’s poverty does not come in the way of their ward’s education under any circumstances. Under this scheme, if the parents send their wards to school, the mother of a student will get Rs 15,000 per annum financial assistance and she must ensure 75 per cent attendance.

He also touched upon the changes made to the mid-day meal scheme to provide nutritious food to the children. School bags, bilingual textbooks, notebooks, shoes, 3 pairs of uniforms, English to Telugu dictionaries are being given through Jagananna Vidya Kanuka scheme, he said while adding the tie up of the education department with the online education portal Byju's to provide quality curriculum to the students. The AP government is also going to provide a tab to class 8 students, he stated. 

The Chief Minister highlighted the developmental works under Manabadi Nadu Nedu programme. The education department has taken up the task of upgrading the school infrastructure in the state. The infrastructure of around 55,555 schools is being upgraded with an estimated cost of Rs 17,900 crore, he said. The Manabadi Nadu Nedu programme will be completed in three phases. Under the programme, all schools will have washrooms with water facility, clean drinking water, wall painting, electrification, fans, tubelights, furniture for children and teachers, green chalk boards, English lab, compound wall, kitchen shed, additional classrooms, digital classrooms and other renovation work.  
YS Jagan further said keeping in mind the significance of the English language around the world, we are implementing programmes that will lay a good foundation for children. In order to prepare the children to face world class competition, we are mapping all the schools and making subject-wise teachers available from class 3 onwards. 

He further stated that the government has also taken several steps at the higher education level. “We are implementing 100 per cent fee reimbursement through the Vidya Deevena scheme, strongly believing that only through education, we can get out of poverty. In the last three years, 21.56 lakh students have benefitted from this scheme,” the CM added. 

The state government is making efforts to make the traditional courses job worthy. In order to do this, we are partnering with Microsoft to upskill the educated youth, the Chief Minister said and added Microsoft has already offered to train 1.6 lakh students in the state. He stated that despite the adverse economic conditions arising out of Covid-19, the initiatives taken by the state government are yielding good results. In 2018-19, 37,000 jobs were created through campus recruitments and in 2020-21 alone, 69,000 jobs were created. 

Also Read: New Delhi: YSR Congress Women MPs Tie Rakhi to CM YS Jagan

To bring transparency in the distribution of benefits through public welfare programmes, the state government has implemented a village and ward secretariat system. As many as 11,162 village secretariats and 3,842 ward secretariats are now functioning in the state, the CM YS Jagan said. 

“We have also appointed one volunteer for every 50-100 households. The village and ward secretariat system not only provides employment but also eliminates middlemen and provides corruption-free and transparent services to the beneficiaries,” the CM added. 

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