Target to cover 1.6 lakh hectares by 2024, says Special Chief Secretary
Special Chief Secretary (Agriculture and Cooperatives) B. Rajasekhar on Saturday urged farmers to slowly switch to natural farming as it’s going to be the best alternative in the agriculture sector in future. He said a plan of action is getting ready to rope in 60 lakh farmers to take up natural farming in 1.6 lakh hectares by 2024.
The official was interacting with the farmers at Chinnagottigallu, Piler and KV Palle mandals during a field inspection to ascertain the loss of groundnut crop in the district. Mr. Rajasekhar said that the experiments pertaining to natural farming gave fruitful results in Anantapur district in spite of perennial drought conditions there.
The farmers brought to the notice of the official that the seeds supplied to them by the Agriculture Department were of poor quality, leading to drastic fall in yields. They said that the problem of wild boars raiding standing crops in Piler division was rampant. They urged the official to consider providing subsidy-based loans to them to erect laser fencing to protect their crops.
The farmers further urged the official to enhance the input subsidy to the farmers of Rayalaseema region as they depended on rain-fed crops. They also observed that the NREGS scheme had to be linked to the agriculture sector to lessen the burden of farm labour on the farmers.
Giving a patient hearing to the farmers, Mr. Rajasekhar said that their appeals would be taken to the notice of the State government.
Meanwhile, the district administration is set to provide ₹147 crore as input subsidy to groundnut farmers in view of the huge loss of crop in Chittoor district due to failure of rains.