VIJAYAWADA: NITI Aayog member Professor Ramesh Chand has said that the Centre is implementing minimum support price for as many as 23 crops that are being cultivated in 83 per cent of the total farming area of the country. He said the Centre is implementing several schemes for the benefit of farmers and also initiating measures for stabilising the prices of farmers’ produce. Stating that huge funds are available with the Union Food Processing Ministry, he called on the State government and farmers to come forward for establishing the required cold storages for storing their produce.
Speaking to media-persons at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi on Friday, the NITI Aayog member, who came to the State for studying the zero-budget farming, said that AP had been following best practices in the agricultural and allied sectors. He said the State stood ahead in technology and natural farming.
The NITI Aayog member said that farmers in the State are more interested in zero-budget farming. He also lauded the measures taken by the State government towards encouraging micro-irrigation, horticulture and crop change pattern. He said that farmers suicides can be prevented by providing minimum support price to the crop and crop insurance to prevent losses to farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, agriculture advisor to State government T Vijay Kumar said the State government had organised programmes in 704 villages to encourage 40,656 farmers to switch over to zero-budget cultivation during the 2016-17 fiscal. He said 63,100 farmers adopted zero-budget farming in 974 villages this year. The team led by Ramesh Chand visited crops cultivated under Zero Budget Natural Farming in several villages of West Godavari district on Thursday and Friday and interacted with the farmers there.