Andhra Pradesh to develop State as the seed capital

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation stone for a Rs. 675-crore mega Seed Park to come up on a 650-acre land at Thangadancha in Jupadu Bungalow mandal in Kurnool district.

Assuring to develop the State as the seed capital, Mr. Naidu said he would tour the U.S. shortly to secure investment from about 100 seed companies. Mr. Naidu launched the third phase of debt relief to farmers by giving a cheque for Rs. 3,600 crore to farmers. He assured to usher in a blue revolution to promote pisciculture and to develop horticulture on one crore acres in the State. He assured fodder on 50% subsidy for dairy units.

The mega seed park was being established in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year by the State government with Iowa University in the U.S., which had developed 350 new seed varieties and was collaborating with 80 countries, Mr. Naidu said. Nearly 40% of seeds used in the State were branded, whereas the remaining 60% were unlabelled, leading to fall in productivity and crop yield. Seed development would be ensured in different agro-climatic zones and Andhra Pradesh would surpass Tamil Nadu in seed production.

The government would tie-up with Melinda Bill Gates Foundation to utilise drones for soil testing and upload the data on the Cloud, besides supplying micronutrients, the Chief Minister said.

Harvesters, tractors and other equipment can be procured online and Plantix, an App was developed to detect and cure plant diseases. The State achieved 27.6% agricultural growth and 11.72 per cent GDP growth that was much higher than the national average, Mr. Naidu said. Deputy Chief Minister K.E. Krishnamurthy said Andhra Pradesh would not only develop but also export quality seeds in future. Mr. Naidu fulfilled his promise of 2014 by setting up the mega seed park, he added. Iowa University Seed Centre Director Manjit Kumar Mishra said quality seed was the foundation for food security and nutrition. Dilip Kumar Guntuka of Iowa University said farmers can purchase seed by watching the plant growth in demonstration plots.

Agriculture Minister S. Chandramohan Reddy said the Government released Rs. 125 crore in the first phase for the seed park, which would be a centre for public-private partnership. Kurnool District Collector S. Satyanarayana said Kurnool district has 75 seed companies and was supplying 20 % of seed requirement of the State. MPs T.G. Venkatesh and S.P.Y. Reddy, Ministers Kaluva Srinivasulu and Bhuma Akhila Priya, Special Commissioner for Agriculture Hari Jawaharlal, MLCs, MLAs and officials took part.


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