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AP Agriculture Budget Opens Door to Public Private Partnership

Govt to involve national, international organisations in order to increase mechanisation in farming sector

Published: 14th March 2015 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2015 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: Even as the opposition parties are criticising the State government for considering the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for construction of the new capital city, AP government appears to be leaning towards encouraging PPP mode in agriculture and its allied activities to attract investments to the reorganised State in the primary sector.

Agriculture minister Prathipati Pulla Rao on Friday presented a separate budget for the farm sector in the State Assembly here with a total outlay of `14,184.03 crore for the financial year 2015-16. In the budget, the government hinted at introduction of PPP mode in the agriculture sector to encourage mechanisation.

As a pilot project, the government is planning to promote community sprinklers through PPP mode by utilising advanced international technologies in Anantapur district to protect groundnut crop. The State government had already started organising conferences inviting companies of national and international repute in agriculture to invest in the sector under the PPP mode.

According to Pulla Rao, in order to increase mechanisation in the farm sector, Custom Hiring Centres would be promoted at village or mandal level or for group of farmers and also on PPP mode across the State.

“The State government with the help of ICRISAT, which is its knowledge partner, has prepared a action plan to overcome constraints, enhance productivity levels in agriculture and allied sectors and increase income of the farmers,” he said.

Though the government claimed that it had identified fisheries as one of the growth engines for economic growth, it allocated a meagre amount of Rs 187.18 crore for it. Fish production of the State stood at 14.76 lakh tonne and exports reached about Rs 13,000 crore till January.

Interestingly, the government which promised to make the coastal belt as aquaculture capital has now changed its plans and has decided to make Vijayawada as aquaculture capital.

Presenting the budget, Pulla Rao said it was aimed at making agriculture a profitable and sustainable vocation.

Paddy, maize, groundnut in agriculture; chillies, banana, mango in horticulture; milk, meat and egg in livestock; marine and inland fish under fisheries sectors were some of the key identified growth engines by the government.

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