GUNTUR: : The agriculture department has decided to focus on farm mechanisation and use of technology to achieve higher crop yield, which could pave way for achieving double digit growth rate through higher production in agriculture and allied sectors.
The district, though famous for commercial crops like cotton, tobacco and chilli, has failed in achieving the Grass Value Addition (GVA), an indicator of growth, last year due to adverse weather conditions.
``As against the target of Rs 5,275 crore last year, we have managed to reach only up to Rs 4,300 crore due to poor monsoon. But, this year, we are confident of achieving the double digit growth by reaching the target of Rs 5,715 crore,” joint director of agriculture VDV Krupadas said.
Speaking to media persons here on Monday, he said that plans are afoot to increase the extent of agriculture and also to increase mechanisation of farming. He said the farmers will also be sensitised about effective water management.
“Apart from arranging one lakh farm ponds, we will also encourage the farmers to adopt best agriculture practices. We will also try to provide better market access,” he said. He asked the farmers to stop depending on excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and wanted them to follow the suggestions given by the agricultural scientists.
``We have already conducted soil health tests and handed over the cards to about 1.41 lakh farmers last year and are going to take up 82,000 more tests this year. We will also issue soil health cards to about 3 lakh farmers this year and will suggest them measures for increasing yield,” he added.
He also said a month-long training will be given to Multi Purpose Extension Officers (MPEOs), who, in turn, will give necessary suggestions to farmers about the best agriculture practices.