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IT, modern methods must be leveraged to double farmers’ income: Vice-President

Ch. R.S. Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 15, 2017

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu felicitates Vice-PresidentMVenkaiiaha Naidu at the inauguration of the AP AgTech Summit in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday CV SUBRAHMANYAM

AP AgTech Summit inaugurated in Vizag

Agriculture is the bedrock on which the Indian economy is built, and it should be made sustainable and remunerative so as to double the income of the farmer by 2021, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu has said.

Inaugurating the three-day Andhra Pradesh AgTech Summit 2017 here on Wednesday, he said, “Judicious adoption of the latest technologies, especially IT, better processing facilities and strengthening the rural infrastructure are necessary to achieve the objective of doubling the farmer’s income. AT (agricultural technology) plus IT will make the State and the country mighty.”

Farm loans

Referring to the situation after demonetisation, the Vice-President said, “Now that banks are flush with funds, institutional credit should be made available to agriculture at lower rates of interest.”

He said that cold storage units and post-harvest facilities should be made available right from the village level to ensure a fair price to the farmer and to prevent exploitation by middlemen. He exhorted the Centre and States to work together to rejuvenate the agricultural sector.

Earlier, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu gave a detailed presentation on the agricultural scenario in Andhra Pradesh, emphasising that the State was focussing on leveraging technologies to improve the sector and make life easier for farmers. He said the State was also focussing on organic farming and it was already being implemented in 131 clusters and 160 new clusters had been identified.

“We wish to achieve inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector and to make use of technology to benefit the small and marginal farmers in the State. The average holding size in the State is less than two hectares and 86.2 per cent of farm holdings in the State belong to small and marginal farmers. We are focussing on them,” he said.

The State government has signed an MoU with Iowa University in the US, reputed to be the leading university in the world in agricultural research, for bringing in new technologies, he added.

Food security

The Chief Minister said the State was aiming at food security, nutrition security as well as fodder security and was getting ready to join hands with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for improving farming. “Bill Gates will be here on Friday and we will discuss ways and means to improve farming in the State,” he said.

S Chandramohan Reddy, State Agriculture Minister; Purvi Mehta, head of agriculture, Asia, of the Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation; Shobana Kamineni, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, and others spoke.

Published on November 15, 2017
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