In a review meeting held with the officials from the department of Agriculture at the Secretariat today, the Chief Minister Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu said that the government has decided to distribute the input subsidy amount for the farmers starting from June 2nd. He ordered that the distribution process should be completed by June 8th and that this work should be taken up on a priority basis.
The Department of Agriculture has come up with a number of interventions to address the issues of the tenant farmers who off late have been facing issues relating to issuing of Loan Edibility Cards and Cultivation certificate.
The officials informed the Chief Minister that from now, the revenue department would take up the responsibility of issuing LEC’s and the COC’s would be released by the agricultural department. Besides this, interventions were also provided to other issues such as inaccessibility of institutional credit and farm machinery, low crop insurance coverage.
The department has observed that the North Coastal Districts have recorded low productivity for which it suggested in today’s meeting for strengthening of extension services by recruiting additional MPEO’s to which the Chief Minister has given his nod. A total of 221 additional MPEOs will be recruited shortly.
To encourage and promote farm mechanism, the government is keen on establishing Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) on PPP mode. Out of the proposed 200 CHC, 94 have been finalized. An amount of Rs 407 Cr is allocated for 2017-18 and for 2016 – 17 the expenditure incurred is Rs. 286 Cr. The Chief Minister said that centers should be established at village and Panchayat Level and that a provision for repair and servicing should also be provided.
The officials informed the Chief Minister that they have completed the geo-tagging process to 80% of the rain gun equipment. They said that the equipment will be moved to the stress areas identified in this season. Pump sets and oil engines have also been geo-tagged and the Chief Minister suggested that agricultural vehicles should also be geo-tagged.
In addition to geo-tagging, 13,000 rain guns and the associated implements have been provided a unique identification number and the numbers are painted on the rain guns.
The officials informed the Chief Minister that the soil health card scheme aimed at providing details about the nutrient status of the soil have been providing good results in the State. There has been a 5 to 10% increase in production, the officials said.
The officials said that out of 26 lakh SHCs, 15 Lakh cards have been printed and the remaining cards will be printed & distributed before 31-05-2017 (3rd year of 1st phase). During 2nd phase, 28 lakh SHC are targeted during 2017-18 as 1st year.
The Chief Minister said that the area under horticultural cropping should increase and that there should be a growth of 30% in the sector. The Chief Minister set a target 23.9% growth in the agricultural sector for the year 2017.
With regard to seed distribution, out of the targeted 11.22 Lakh qtls, 9.31 Lakh qtls are already procured & kept ready for distribution and 6.09 lakh qtls of Groundnut seed is already processed & ready for distribution (Target: 6.75 Lakh qtls. ).
Fertilizer requirement for Kharif – 2017 is 16.85 LMTs, and the fertilizer availability in the state is 9.80 LMTs and the buffer stock available with Markfed is 1.97 LMTs.
A smart service center called ‘Agri-Smart’ was launched by the Chief Minister. It is a one stop solution for the farming community. Including cultivated land details of the farmers, the center will have details about crop, soil nature, water availability etc. The farmer can also book door delivery of seeds and fertilizers through this center.