Friend of farmers

Published : Sep 25, 2009 00:00 IST

IF the nine-year-rule of the TDP led by N. Chandrababu Naidu saw Andhra Pradesh emerge as an IT destination, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddys government gave a thrust to the agrarian economy through the Jalayagnam programme and the Agriculture Technology Mission. While Chandrababu Naidus penchant for IT earned him the CEO of State tag, Rajasekhara Reddy became the friend of farmers. The fact that his election in 2004 ended the long spell of drought in the State and each year of his tenure recorded bounteous rains only enhanced his farmer-friendly image. Known for his passion for and hands-on experience in agriculture, he was not content with the ongoing irrigation projects. He worked out yet another programme to boost the productivity of small and marginal farmers.

The result of this quest was cooperative farming, which he finalised after discussions with agricultural experts. We have extended free power to farmers, loans, crop insurance schemes and input subsidies. Yet, there is no significant rise in their incomes, which would happen only when they have access to better technology, mechanisation, fertilizers, inputs and storage and marketing facilities. We have to give economies of scale to farmers of small holdings through cooperative farming, Rajasekhara Reddy had said.

His dream was to help farmers multiply their incomes by accessing the facilities from seeds to marketing extended to the cooperative group.

M.L. Melly Maitreyi
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