Introduction to agriculture farming in Andhra Pradesh
Agriculture is the backbone of Andhra Pradesh. Most of the people of the state are cultivators who earn their living by cultivating the lands of their forefathers. To increase the production of the agricultural goods, Andhra Pradesh Government has established a separate “Department of Agriculture” to extend a helping hand to the farmers of the state. The department imparts modern technical knowledge to the farmers to improve agricultural productivity.
A step by step guide to agriculture farming in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is an exporter of several agricultural products. Rice, Cotton, Sugarcane, Chilli pepper, mango, and tobacco are the local crops. Recently, crops used for vegetable oil production such as peanuts and sunflowers have gained favour. Andhra Pradesh has been historically called the “Rice Bowl of India” and the largest producer of rice in the country. The Department of Agriculture has been created primarily to provide Agricultural Extension services to farmers and to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community, the introduction of high yielding varieties, laying demonstrations, imparting training to farmers to improve knowledge and skills to boost up the agricultural productivity and Production.
Agriculture plays an important role in the livelihoods of people as 70% of the population in Andhra Pradesh live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related livelihood opportunities. Agriculture plays a major role not only in the economy but also for achieving food security for the state and also for the country. Andhra Pradesh is also an important producer of horticulture crops. The National Horticulture Mission (NHM) has identified the state as having the potential to enhance exports of banana, mango, grapes, papaya, brinjal, guava, and cabbage. Diversification has been identified as one of the potential ways of enhancing growth and ensuring stability in agriculture. Therefore, an attempt is made in this document to critically analyze the performance of agriculture overtime at the aggregate and district level to arrive at appropriate policy measures towards bootings agricultural production, profitability and productivity.
Different types of soil found for agriculture farming in Andhra Pradesh
There are six types of soil found in Andhra Pradesh;
1. Red soil
2. Black soil
3. Alluvial soil
4. Laterite soil
5. Marshy soil
6. Saline soil
In Andhra Pradesh, the soil sampling and soil testing programme is organized in an organized manner to estimate the fertility status, to identify the soil-related problems (Salinity/ Sodicity) if any to improve fertility, and to add fertilizer depending on the soil test data.
Soil health management in Andhra Pradesh
Soil health management was not given due importance which resulted in land degradation and excess use of chemical fertilizers, thereby disturbing the balance of nutrients and crop growth. The saline and alkali soils where productivity and income to farmers were very low have not been reclaimed. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers leads to an imbalance in soil fertility and an increase in input cost resulting in not only the non-availability of micronutrients but also led to yield losses. Imbalanced use of inorganic fertilizers also resulted in soil health degradation.
Farm tools and equipment for Agriculture farming in Andhra Pradesh
The tools, technologies, and equipment which will help in timely completion of farm operations, better placement of inputs, and drudgery reduction, resulting in higher productivity in agriculture and post-harvest processing in the state are laser land leveller, puddler, rotavator, paddy seeder/transplanter, cono weeder, zero-till drill, multi-crop thresher, vertical conveyor reaper, reaper binder, greenhouse technology, accelerated jute retting, evaporatively cooled storage (ECS), modern ginning, primary lac processing, modern grain milling, cotton stalk particle boards, fish transport and solid-state biogas plant.
Zero budget natural farming in Andhra Pradesh
The government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of Agriculture is implementing Andhra Pradesh ‘Zero-Budget’ Natural Farming (APZBNF) Programme. Zero-Budget Natural Farming is a holistic alternative to the present paradigm of high-cost chemical inputs-based agriculture. It is very effective in addressing the uncertainties of climate change. Zero-Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) principles are in harmony with the principles of Agroecology. Its uniqueness is that it is based on the newest scientific discoveries in Agriculture, and, at the same time it is rooted in Indian tradition.
Livestock and poultry management in Andhra Pradesh
The state is comparatively rich in livestock and poultry wealth with 0.39 million crossbred cattle, 1.2 million non-descript cattle, and 3.9 million buffaloes in milk, producing around 7.7 million tonnes of milk annually, and buffaloes are contributing the major share of milk. Coming to the poultry with 16.5 billion egg production per annum, the state ranks first in the country. The meat production in the state is 0.45 million tonnes annually. Although the state has utilized the potentiality to a large extent, it has further scope to enhance the productivity of cattle, buffalo, sheep, and poultry with the adoption of the following technologies;
- Improved germplasm of Murrah buffalo and Frieswal cattle for 5 % increase in milk production
- Cystoscope assisted Artificial Insemination for increasing conception rate by 20%
- Field-based vaccines (mouth and foot disease, bluetongue) and diagnostic kits (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine viral diarrhoea) for enhanced income and production.
- Complete feed blocks and area-specific mineral (Ca, Cu, P, and Mn) supplementation for 10 to 15% improvement in productivity
- Hormonal modulation of poultry in organized farms for around 5% rise in egg production
- Improving shelf life of poultry products.
The fisheries sector in Andhra Pradesh
India is the world’s second-largest producer of farmed freshwater fish. The state of Andhra Pradesh is by far the major producer of fish in India.
Andhra Pradesh has been contributing significantly to the fish basket of the country in recent years through an effective strategy in both coastal and freshwater aquaculture and marketing. Quality shrimp and scampi seed and feed, low utilization of reservoir resources available in the state are the major factors responsible for the existing gap between the potential and actual production in the inland sector. In marine fisheries, unregulated multi-day fishing is a major concern. Suitable technological interventions for the state are;
- Catfish and carp and culture (achievable yield 6 tonnes/ha/year; 2 tonnes/ha/year)
- Shrimp and scampi farming (2.0 tonnes/ha/year; 1.5 tonnes/ha/year)
- Setting up aqua-feed production units and disease diagnostic centers Culture-based fisheries/pen and cage culture in reservoirs (150 kg/ha/year)
- Diversification of excess trawling for tuna fishing (35,000 tonnes annually)
Fishery Sector of Andhra Pradesh – Andhra Pradesh is strategically located on the South-Eastern coast of India and is the natural gateway to East and South-East Asia. The state has a population of around 4.95 crores. Andhra Pradesh has fertile river basins, conductive agro-climatic conditions, and an extensive canal system for fishery promotion. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has identified the Fisheries sector as a Growth Engine for the social-economic development of the new State of Andhra Pradesh.
Agricultural farming strategies for Andhra Pradesh
The issue of food security, as well as nutritional security and improved livelihoods for rural people, who need urgent attention and the following steps, are proposed for sustainable intensification of agriculture.
Waiver of agriculture loans – Andhra Pradesh state is much vulnerable to natural calamities like floods and cyclones in coastal districts and frequent droughts in the Rayalaseema region. Every year the occurrence of natural calamities made agriculture unmanageable and uneconomical even in highly productive regions like Konaseema in the Godavari and central delta of the state at times, forcing farmers to declare crop holiday.
The cost of farm inputs and thereby the cost of production has increased substantially over the years, while the sale price of farm produce has not increased commensurately and crop productivity remained stagnant. The low productivity coupled with the increased cost of cultivation led to the indebtedness of the farmers forcing them in some cases to commit suicides. During the last few years, the farmers suffered heavy losses due to crop failures and are in dire need of assistance to sustain agriculture. So, the waiver of the agriculture loans is declared to rescue the farmers from deep indebtedness and to revive the crisis-hit agriculture and to create confidence among the farmers.
Scope of farm mechanization in Andhra Pradesh
Farm mechanization accelerates the pace of the growth in the agriculture sector. The focus will be to make available the best machinery for farming operations like land preparation, sowing, inter cultivation, harvesting, and post-harvesting. Establishing Custom Hiring Centers (CHC) and Implement Hiring Stations (IHS) which facilitates the availability of high-cost machinery to small and marginal farmers on a hire basis will be a priority item.
Scope of farm Mechanization
As in the rest of India, there has been a steady shift from animal power to electro-mechanical sources of power in Andhra Pradesh although the rate of change has been slower than that of the leading agricultural States. The availability of power is estimated at 1.38 kW/ha. A large number of front-line demonstrations need to be conducted for the popularization of the newly developed farm equipment.
Organic agriculture farming in Andhra Pradesh
To ensure healthy agricultural produce and to save the soil, the extensive program will be taken up for encouraging the organic farming program by coordinating programmes of the agriculture department.
Seed production in Andhra Pradesh
The main objectives are;
- The seed is a critical determinant in improving Agricultural production.
- The efficiency and performance of other inputs depend on the quality of the seed. Quality/certified seed plays a major role in achieving higher yields.
- Hence the supply of quality seed to the farmers is one of the most important interventions to increase the productivity and production of any crop.
- To bring more area under cultivation quality/certified seed must be supplied at affordable prices and in adequate quantities to the farmers.
- The area under cultivation is not going to increase significantly; the thrust will have to be on rising productivity per unit of cultivated land.
- The availability and use of quality seeds are not a onetime affair. A sustained increase in agriculture productivity and production necessarily needs continuous development of new and improved varieties of crops and efficient systems of production and supply of Quality/certified seed to farmers.
In Andhra Pradesh state the Seed production chain is being strengthened by producing various classes of seed i.e. Breeder seed, certified seed, and Foundation seed by different Government and Private Institutions. The Quality/certified and improved seed thus produced is being distributed to the farmers through the various Central and State schemes. This is one of the most effective ways of increasing productivity and production at the field level. Supply of seed on subsidy means the average farmers can purchase seed at a reasonable price which will help in achieving a desirable increase in productivity and production.
Agricultural farming schemes in Andhra Pradesh
Arrangements are made for the supply of quality seed on subsidy to the farmers under several schemes as detailed below;
1. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
2. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)
3. NMOOPS – National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm
4. Supplying of seed on subsidy to the farmers
Subsidies in Andhra Pradesh
The distribution of tractors was under the scheme, Rythu Radham. Though it is necessary to be eligible that is must own at least one acre of land, should not own a tractor, and must have all necessary supporting documents. Also, loans are obtainable from ICICI bank with a repayment deadline of 5 years.
NABARD loans in Andhra Pradesh
This scheme offers every farmer the opportunity to purchase the necessary machines, mainly tractors. Though, they expect a down payment of 15% of the machinery or tractors cost. However, NABRAD provides 30% of the cost as a subsidy for tractor and 100% for other transport machinery.
Common Objectives of Subsidiary Schemes Promoting Machineries
- To adapt faster and newer machines
- Additional, to facilitate machine purchasing
- Helping to reduce the cost of cultivation
- Moreover, to ensure the timeliness of cultivation timing
- Most significantly, to improve the livelihood of the farmers
The horticulture sector in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh state has made important contributions to India’s traditional Horticulture crops cultivation. Increased area and production under Horticultural crops have put Andhra Pradesh in a stronger position in terms of attracting investments from the private sector.
Given that area and production of vegetables and fruits have been increasing steadily, Andhra Pradesh has the potential to raise its contribution towards the economy by way of exports. Due to a voluntary shift in the cropping pattern, returns from Horticulture per unit of land are more in comparison to Agriculture. The Horticulture is climate resilient, so assures higher income to farmers.
The State has 17.48 Lakh Hectare under Horticulture crops with an annual production of 301.73 Lakhs metric tons. The horticulture sector in Andhra Pradesh contributes approximately 16.07% to the state GVA (Gross Value Added).
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Important agricultural crops of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh state is blessed with suitable weather to produce varieties of crops. The farmers of Andhra Pradesh practice multiple cropping patterns to improve the growth of agricultural production.
Some of the important crops that are grown in the Andhra Pradesh state are;
- Minor Millets
- Coarse Grain
Andhra Pradesh also produces other important cash crops like Groundnut, Castor, Pulses, Sunflower, Oilseeds, Cotton, and Sugarcane which helps the state to earn huge amounts of revenue.
The Department of Agriculture under the Andhra Pradesh Government plays a key role in improving the production and quality of agricultural goods in India. In addition to enlightening the farmers on the various modern techniques of producing crops, the Department of Agriculture also provides high yielding seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers to the farmers.
Cropping pattern in Andhra Pradesh
The major crops grown in the State in Kharif season are cotton, paddy, and groundnut and in rabi season the major crops are sunflower and paddy. The other main crops in the state are Black gram, Tobacco, and Sugarcane.
The agriculture in Andhra Pradesh is very vast. There are about “62% of people” in Andhra Pradesh in the agriculture stream. Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is the largest food crops area and is the main cropping area in Andhra Pradesh. The crop like ‘Bajra’, ‘Jowar’, ‘Maize’, ‘Ragi’, ‘Castor’, ‘small millets’, ‘Cotton’, ‘tobacco’, and ‘Sugarcane’. Rice is the major food crop that contributes about 77% of food grain agriculture.
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If you live in the following districts, cities, towns, and villages of Andhra Pradesh(AP) and plan to start Agriculture Farming, this article might be helpful to reach your goals.
|Alluri Seetharam Raju||Manyam||Rajahmundry/Rajamahendravaram|
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