Our Bureau

Hyderabad, July 28

THE Andhra Pradesh Government will soon open a WTO (World Trade Organisation) Cell for farmers to help explain the implications of the new global trade regime for the agricultural economy.

The cell would be housed at the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture and comprise experts in the field.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, Mr N. Raghuveera Reddy, Minister for Agriculture and Civil Supplies, said the cell would provide information on global crop trends.

"This will help our farmers plan their crops," he said.

He said that the Government would create one lakh more Rythu Mithra Groups (RMGs) in the State. Currently there are about 55,000 RMGs. "This time we will focus on tenant farmers, small and marginal farmers," he said.

A special drive to provide credit cover for farmers and RMGs would be held in all districts from August 1-14.

In addition, loan melas would be held for three days beginning August 15.

The Minister said the total availability of fertilisers was 10.12 lakh metric tonnes as against the requirement of 5.38 lakh MT.

The ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency) introduced in the four districts of Kurnool, Prakasam, Chittoor and Adilabad, would be extended to six more districts this year.

These are Srikakulam, Krishna, Anantapur, Kadapa, Nizamabad and Rangareddy.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 29, 2005)
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