Andhra govt ties up with ICAR, FAO for developing sustainable agri systems

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government is joining hands with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), to help farmers take up sustainable agri-food systems.

The state government on Tuesday entered into an agreement on technical cooperation project with FAO and ICAR, for strengthening capacities of the state government to support farmers to adopt sustainable agri food systems.

Agriculture special chief secretary Poonam Malakondaiah signed the MoU on behalf of Andhra Pradesh while FAO was represented by its country director Tomio Shichirim while deputy director general A.K. Singh signed on behalf of ICAR.

Under the agreement, FAO will provide training to farmers, Rythu Bharosa Kendram (RBK) staff, officials, and scientists on new technologies in agricultural allied sectors and training to farmers on best cultivation management practices.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, who witnessed the event, said that Rythu Bharosa Kendrams (RBKs) were set up as part of an effort to weed away fake seeds, pesticides and fertilisers from the markets. He said measures have been taken to ensure remunerative price to the farmers and explained about e- cropping.

The state government had launched Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) or farmer support centres across the state last year, to provide agricultural supplies to agriculture, aquaculture, and horticulture farmers. More than 10,000 RBKs are to be set up at village secretariats.

FAO’s country director Tomio Shichiri said RBKs will bring revolutionary changes in agriculture, adding that they are the role model in agriculture in the country. He said integrated agri labs will stand out as good organisations in providing the best quality inputs to the farmers and integrated call centre system and RBK studios will help farmers achieve the best results.

He assured that FAO will provide technical and financial assistance to the RBKs in the state and ICAR, along with FAO, will work towards strengthening RBKs in Andhra Pradesh.