Global consultants to assist AP farmers
Vijayawada: The state government is planning to rope in world renowned firms to help ryots streamline operations and make farming profitable. The consulting firms will assist farmers in all stages, right from sowing seeds to marketing produce. Extending weather inputs, insights in controlling pests and seasonal viruses would also be part of the consulting firms’ job.
The chief minister released the annual credit plan of the state here at the state level bankers committee (SLBC) meeting on Thursday. “We do not want farmers to earn mere remunerative prices. Each season should be profitable,” said chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, while elaborating on the plans to hire global giants to make agriculture profitable.
The CM said negotiations with 25 top global consultants are underway. “We will bring farming experts. They will facilitate the farmers right from tilling the fields to sale of produce. We want the farmer to make big profits,” Naidu said.
He explained that hiring consultants would revolutionize the agriculture sector in the state. The government will take steps to provide water (irrigation) to each and every farmer in the state, said the CM. The state would also guide the farmers on the usage of fertilizer after referring to soil reports. Naidu said the government is taking steps to encourage setting up of agro-product industries, which will help promote the farmers’ produce.
The CM directed the bankers to liberally grant loans to the fisheries sector, as export of marine products are a major source of income for the state. He said the government has developed nearly 175 industrial clusters across the state and that bankers should target these clusters in their credit plan to propel growth.
SLBC chairman and Andhra Bank managing director Suresh N Patel said AP is one of few states which has provided such huge loans to the agriculture sector in the last financial year. He said the credit plan for 2016-17 has been designed with Rs.1,65,538 corer, which is an increase of nearly 32 per cent. The priority sector credit inflow would see a jump of 30 per cent as the bankers spared Rs1,25,538 crore.
Agriculture sector alone would get Rs83,003, which was Rs75,448 crore last year. While Rs60,000 crore would be granted as short term (ST) loans, the remaining Rs23,003 crore would be spared as long term loans in agriculture sector. While dairy development was allocated loan of Rs5,536 crore, poultry sector got Rs1,299 crore.
Fisheries sector was granted Rs1,713 crore credit. Sheep and goat breeding was allocated loan of Rs1,223 crore.
“We have dedicated nearly Rs25,000 corer for Mudra loans for MSME sector,” said Suresh N Patel.
The CM asked bankers to shun the traditional path of granting credit to farmers and instead adopt a scientific approach. He said the role of bankers is very important to reach the planned growth rate of 15 per cent in AP. “Ground water, rainfall, environment, pollution are necessary components to get good yields. We will guide the farmers with real time analysis,” he said.
Bankers would also assist the housing program with an outlay of Rs12,000 crore from which Rs7,340 crore would be dedicated to Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY). Students would get loans to the tune of Rs2,155 crore to pursue higher education. Agriculture minister Prattipati Pullarao, HRD minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao were also present.
Source : timesofindia