Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh agriculture special chief secretary Poonam Malakondaiah announced that 25 fruit processing units will be set up across the state to ensure profits for the farmers. Also, the foundation stone for the construction of 2,000 warehouses will be laid on 8 July, she added.
Speaking at a media conference on Saturday, she said the state government has taken steps to support horticulture farmers during COVID-19, ensuring they get proper price for their crops.
Supporting mango farmers
Horticulture is being taken up in 17.84 hectares in the state and nearly 312 lakh MT of fruit is being produced in AP, justifying the state being called the "fruit basket of the country". She further said the state produced 46 lakh MT of mangoes of which 70 per cent had been harvested. State has laid special focus on mango processing by creating awareness among farmers right from village level through RBKs, she added.
She said that from the last four months, measures have been taken to ensure smooth transport of crops to avoid inconvenience to farmers and to support the mango farmers during the pandemic, crops have been transported through 27 Kisan Rails.
MSP for 23 crops
Further, Ms. Malakondaiah said the government had supported farmers by providing MSP for perishable goods like chilli, turmeric, banana, and orange, and also established the Price Stabilisation Fund worth Rs. 3,000 crore. To benefit the farmers, the government has taken a historical decision by announcing MSP for 23 crops grown in the state that were not considered by the Centre, she said. The state is currently providing Rs. 7,000 per quintal for chillies, Rs. 6,850 for turmeric, Rs. 770 for onion, Rs. 2,500 for minor millets, Rs. 800 for banana, and Rs. 1,400 for sweet orange. Besides, the government has also introduced graded MSP for groundnut and Bengal gram.
She said that the government will be using drones to spray fertilizers.
Drawing comparison with the previous government, she said that 11,22,912 MT of crops, excluding paddy, had been procured during 2014-2019 at a cost of Rs. 3,921 crore. However, the YSRCP government had procured 19,30,199 MT crops in the last two years at a cost of Rs. 6,348 crore.