The Agriculture department should start procuring paddy for Rabi season from April 15 and complete the enumeration of crop loss from recent untimely rains at the earliest, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Wednesday.
Directing officials to root out spurious fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides from the market, Reddy also called for products to be supplied through the Rythu Bharosa Kendrams (RBKs) at a review meeting on agriculture today.
He advised continuous monitoring to ensure that farmers do not suffer while officials go about enumerating the amount of crop loss, an exercise that is expected to be completed by the second week of April.
According to officials, 100 percent e-cropping (electronic trading of produce beyond APMC premises) has been completed, targeting distribution of 10.5 metric tonnes (MT) of quality fertilisers to farmers in 2023-24 through AP Agros, the State's agricultural industries development corporation.
Further, they said that the Polambadi training programmes for farmers enabled them to cut expenses by 15 per cent in paddy cultivation, 15 per cent in groundnut cultivation, 12 per cent in cotton and five per cent in maize.
Likewise, they said these programmes had enhanced the yield of cotton by 16 per cent, maize by 15 per cent, groundnut 12 per cent and paddy 9 per cent.
They said these results could be the first step in the direction of implementing completely natural farming methods, even as they are striving to procure certificates of good agricultural practices for 26 farmer producer organisations (FPOs).
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister allowed the distribution of farm tools in April, 500 drones and tarpaulins in July, 1,500 drones by December and sprays between July and December.
The CM also instructed officials to focus on marketing millets and horticultural products. Officials said that the State had achieved 3.79 lakh MT of paddy production in the Rabi season of 2022-23, compared to 6.29 lakh MT in the 2022 kharif season.
Reddy directed officials to implement the ‘plant doctor’ concept at the earliest by undertaking soil tests in March, April and May every year to prepare farmers for the kharif season by June, including educating them on the crops that are suitable to be cultivated. He noted that the ‘plant doctor’ concept should be made accessible via RBKs.