Inaugurating three-day Andhra Pradesh AgTech Summit at the APIIC grounds here, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said the curbs on movement of food grains must go. (“Andhra Pradesh AgTech Summit”)
“The main concern of the farmers today is getting remunerative price for their produce.” The goal could be achieved by ensuring access to technology and pumping funds in rural infrastructure, he said.
The summit, to be attended by Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates on the last day, is being organised jointly by the AP government, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Dalberg, a strategy and policy advisory firm.
AP Government-Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Programme on Digital Platform was launched at the inaugural. CII president Sobhana Kamineni, BMGF global director-agriculture development Nick Austin, Head of Agriculture in Asia Purvi Mehta, and AP Agriculture Minister S. Chandramohan Reddy were among those present.
Complimenting Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s vision to optimise yield, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu said AP had remained ahead of other States in horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture, and other related activities.
Calling for making agriculture sustainable, he said use of right technology at the right time and significant improvement in market conditions would give a choice to the farmer to send his produce to distant places without himself going there. “Now time has come to put an end to exploitation by middlemen,” he said and wondered how tomato growers of Madanapalle in Chittoor district in AP and onion farmers of Nashik in Maharashtra were denied remunerative price when the same produce was sold at exorbitant prices elsewhere.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said the government was offering a slew of incentives to ensure inclusive growth for small and marginal farmers. “Better use of technology will always fetch them well,” he said. He said they had been achieving double-digit growth continuously for past three years. The target set is 15% and the minimum guaranteed GSDP growth is 12% — much ahead of the nation’s growth.
The Chief Minister said the growth in agriculture was over 10% and the vision adopted by the government wanted to make the State among the top three by 2020, No. 1 State by 2029 and the world’s best destination by 2050.