Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries Prattipati Pulla Rao has said that State government's agreement with World Economic Forum for marketing 25 agriculture varieties from the country will benefit 10,000 farmer produce organisations from this year.
While inaugurating Aqua Biz India-2016 at Sports Stadium here on Saturday, he said that each group of FPO would consist of 1,000 farmers and a total of 10 lakh farmers of these organisations would adopt best practices for quality production. With regard to aqua culture, the Minister said that top priority was given to this sector as the growth rate was 32 per cent, whereas the agriculture growth rate was at minus 7 per cent.
“Through aquaculture the country is getting Rs. 14,000 crore of foreign exchange, contributing 42 per cent of nations' foreign exchange from Andhra Pradesh," he said and advised farmers to make use of the facilities being provided by the government like 50 per cent subsidy on processing units and fishing nets and produce quality products. Pointing out the allocation of budget this year for the fisheries sector, the Minister said that Rs.339 crore was allocated for 2016-17 while it was Rs. 187 for 2015-16.
Kakainda city MLA Vanamadi Venkateswara Rao said that adopting new methodology would help the fishermen to produce international competitive products and requested the Minister to increase the compensation from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000 for fishermen during fishing ban period. Ramsankhar Naik, Commissioner of Fisheries, also spoke. Earlier, the Minister inaugurated the special expo arranged on technologies, development and opportunities in the aqua sector. District Collector H. Arun Kumar, Director of APTDC S. Jyothi Kumar and others were present.