Amid widespread farmer protests making it to the headlines across the country, the southern state of Andhra Pradesh there are no such protests since its CM focuses on Agricultural sector. He ‘Rythu Bharosa Kendras’ or ‘Farmer trust centers’ and assured MSP for all crops. over 10,000 RBKs are doing the job of incorporating modern technology into agriculture by the means of a plethora of essential and other services and on the other, the Government’s plan of boosting domestic demand by establishing a chain of ‘Janata Bazars’ and food processing units is set to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers at all costs. This , apart from extending an annual financial assistance of 13,500 under ‘ YSR Rythu Bharosa’ to meet the input and harvesting costs of farmers is bound to show immediate results.
The RBKs have essentially become ‘One Stop Centers’ for farmers across the state. From procuring produce to training farmers on the best practices to selling quality assured agricultural inputs to providing a digital interface using which a farmer could interact with experts to an almost instant issue redressal system, RBKs have started to do it all. Among the most important and innovative initiatives are:
The primary reason for the farmers protesting is the MSP system. Over and above the MSPs declared by the Government of India, the state Government has declared MSPs for at least 5 crops, including perishables like Tomato and sweet lime along with Turmeric and Chilli. Last season, the marketing department of the state set a record by procuring over 2 lakh metric tonnes of produce during the Covid-hit period in order to safeguard the interests of the farmers. Government has decided to establish a chain of ‘Janata Bazars’ and food processing units across the state. While Janata Bazars are expected to provide an avenue for farmers to sell their produce, the food processing units are expected to do the job of opening up new doors for the farming community in the state in the near future.
POLAMBADI for Farmers
The word Polambadi translates into ‘ Farm-School’ which is self-explanatory in nature. experts identify progressive farmers from the local society, cultivate the most prevalent crop in area in 2 divided sections of the land undertaken. In the first stretch of land, the farmers are allowed to use the locally popular ways of growing the crop and on the other , best practices and technologies from across the globe are used to grow the exact same crop. Farmers are made to actively participate throughout the process , right from sowing the seeds to harvesting the produce. After practically showing farmers how best practices can yield better results, the experts bestow the responsibility of propagating the same to all the other farmers in the locality upon the identified and participating farmers. This is essence is a practical agriculture class for the farmers and is bound to help them maximize their produce.
INTEGRATED CALL CENTER AND DISTRICT RESOURCE CENTERS
the call center does the job of giving the farmer the prescribed solution. In case the problem turns out to be widespread and recurring, the call center would be responsible for communicating the same to the experts sitting in the District Resource Centers. Each district is equipped with a District Resource Center which consists of at least 30 experts.
Upon being intimated about the problem, a delegation of experts from the DRC are rushed to the spot to examine the causes of the issue. Depending on whether there is a need to analyze samples in the labs, the delegation will then procure the samples, test the same, find a solution and propagate the same among the suffering farmers. Multiple success stories of this system saving the seasonal produce of farmers, thereby their lives have been recorded in the past 1 year.
ONE STOP CENTERS FOR PROCURING AGRICULTURAL INPUTS
To weed out the problem of farmers suffering due to low quality agricultural inputs, the Government in the state has taken up the responsibility of testing the quality of seeds,fertilizers etc, packaging and selling the same at RBKs. Using the KIOSK, the farmers can order products at an RBK like any other e-commerce sites in the market. This assures the farmer of the quality of inputs he/she is using.
Digital mediums like the KIOSKs and TV screens present in the RBKs are used to telecast awareness programs on agriculture for the benefit of the farmers. Apart from educating the farmers, content connected various developments and innovations pertaining to agriculture are also telecasted.
DAIRY AND AQUA FARMERS ALSO PRIORITIZED
It is important to note that all the services mentioned above are also being provided to Dairy and Aqua farmers as well, with minor fluctuations owing to the difference in needs. The RBKs are also equipped with a wide rage of vaccines and other medical necessities to treat animals, apart from educating Aqua farmers on the best practices.