Updated: December 16, 2021 5:40:05 pm
The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) on a project for strengthening the capacities of the state in supporting farmers to adopt sustainable cultivation.
State Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu said on Wednesday that the government is keen on convincing farmers to grow alternative crops instead of paddy — the crop of choice for a majority of farmers to grow in the state.
For this, the Rythu Bharosa Kendras — one-stop procurement centres for agricultural items such as seeds, fertilisers, etc, — will be revamped with the assistance of FAO and ICAR.
“The RBKs were set up as part of an effort to crackdown on fake seeds, pesticides and fertilisers, which are sold in the markets,” he said.
The campaign to grow alternative crops will be spearheaded by the RBKs, which will also promote organic farming. They will also make available organic fertilisers and issue organic farming certification.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Amaravati on Wednesday.
It was signed by the state’s special chief secretary, agriculture,Poonam Malakondaiah, FAO India director Tomio Shichiri and ICAR deputy director general Dr A K Singh.
Shichiri said after the signing that RBKs will bring revolutionary changes in agriculture, adding that these can be a role model for agriculture in the country.
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