ü The Department of Agriculture has been created mainly to provide Agricultural Extension services to farmers and to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community, introduction of high yielding varieties, laying demonstrations, imparting training to farmers to improve skills & knowledge to boost up the agricultural Production and productivity.
ü The other objectives of the Department are to assess requirements of agriculture inputs well in advance and to regulate their production and monitor timely supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, implements, credit etc., to farmers.
ü The Department also performs the statutory functions under various acts and regulations (i.e., quality control) to ensure supply of quality inputs i.e., Seeds, Fertilizers and Pesticides to farmers and implementation of Dangerous Machines Regulation Act.
ü The Department also carries out certain other facilitating functions such as 1) soil testing 2) soil and water conservation 3) soil survey 4) credit assessment / arrangements 5) media production 6) training to farmers 7) arranging P.P. campaigns /Diagnostic team visits whenever necessary 8) monitoring and evaluation 9) disaster management 10) crop insurance 11) agricultural mechanisation 12) extending technical assistance to various agencies
v Introduction :
ü Agriculture – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said “Everything else can wait but not for Agriculture” Worldwide – is a vital determinant of the livelihoods of small holder farmers and rural communities.
ü Agriculture growth throughout global history – has been the pro-genitor of broad-based economic growth and development, as linkages between farmers and non-farm economic generated widely-based employment, income and growth. Sustainable growth in Agriculture sector is the “need of the hour” not only for the State of Andhra Pradesh but also for the Country as a whole. Economy of Andhra Pradesh continues to be predominantly agrarian.
ü Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest States in India. The population (2011 census) is 84.6 million i.e., 6.99% of India’s total population of 1210 million (2011 census). It accounts for 8.4% of India’s total geographical area and 6.99% of population, ranking 4th in terms of geographical area and 5th in terms of population among the Indian States. The density of population at 308 per Sq.km is lower than the density 382 at all India level. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes account respectively for 16.2% and 6.6% of the total population in the State. About one-third of the State population is living in urban areas and the rest is in the rural areas of the State. Rural Andhra Pradesh is predominantly agricultural with more than three fourth of its work force engaged directly in Agriculture sector.
ü Andhra Pradesh “the bejeweled rice bowl of India”. Agriculture is the chief source of income to the State’s economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari, and Krishna, flow through the State providing irrigation. Andhra Pradesh is agrarian in character, and it is considered as one of the most progressive States with respect of agriculture development, maintaining high levels of crop production compared to several other States.
ü Significant growth in Agriculture:
ü Around -6.22% declined growth rate over previous year of first revised estimates at Constant prices (2004-05) of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and -2.69% during 2012-13, whereas at current prices -1.29% during 2011-12 and 7.63 % during 2012-13 estimate as advance declined due to drought conditions prevailed in the State.
ü Around 8.70% contributes of first revised estimates at current prices of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and 10.79% during 2012-13 as advance estimates whereas at constant prices 0.78% during 2011-12 and 1.96% during 2012-13 and also it provides employment to around 65% of the State’s population. The State enjoys a position of supremacy in respect of crop production (source: Socio economic survey 2012-13).
ü The strengths of fundamentals of the economy is evident from the remarkable transition to a high growth path, which was achieved in the recent years. With the various strategic initiatives put in place by the State/ Department ofAgriculture by and large have improved the living standards of the people. Basic theme of the 12th Five Year Plan is “Faster, More inclusive and sustainable growth”.
ü About the Department of Agriculture:
ü In the process of making the mission a reality, the department is adopting following strategies
ü “Sustained and coordinated efforts” for facilitating a second green revolution and device strategies for optimum use of natural resources to create new avenues in Agriculture for livelihood and strengthen the rural areas. Government site-specific system to ensure that at least a part of the fallow lands are brought under cultivation by increasing irrigation sources. New seed technology and post harvest technology are need to be addressed.
ü Involvement of marginal and small farmers in crop diversification and food security are the important aspects to be addressed in accelerating crop diversification in the State.
ü Credit provides necessary liquidity and insurance provides command over resource to the farming community.
ü Provision of banking facilities in un-banked and under banked areas, financial inclusion, SHG bank-linkage programme, financing rural godowns and agricultural Infrastructure are the thrust areas.
ü Re-engineering extension approach for effective extension reach
ü Empowering the farmer with advance agricultural practices
ü Capacity enhancement of Departmental Staff for an efficient extension of technology.
ü Ensuring timely input supply.
ü Regulation of inputs and quality control.
ü Soil test based fertilizer recommendation
ü Promotion of self- reliance in seed production among farmers.
v The Infrastructure:
ü The Departments has a strong chain of human resources consisting of more than 4000 extension staff of field and supervisory cadre. The staff is periodically oriented with the advance technology emerging from time to time by re-engineering through trainings, workshops, interactions etc., in addition, the department supports a number of Farmers Training Centers, laboratories, Farmers Field Schools etc., to equip the farmer with necessary deal and knowledge for successful agriculture
v The Allied Departments:
ü The research support to the Department is endowed by the State Agriculture University and the National and International Institutes. The input support is solicited through various autonomous bodies like APSSDC, APAIDC, APMARKFED, APOILFED, HACA etc., The other eco-coordinating Departments are Horticulture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation, Forests, Rain Shadow Area Development and Power.
ü Financial support is rendered by NABARD and other Banks, not only to land owning farmers but also to tenant farmers.
v ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
v State Level
v Secretariat :
ü It is headed by hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, assisted by an officer of the cadre of Principal Secretary/ Secretary. The Principal Secretary Agriculture and Co-operation is the administrative head in the secretariat on behalf of the State Government assisted by Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Asst. Secretaries, Section Officers and Sub staff.
v Commissionerate of Agriculture :
ü The Head of the dept. is Commissioner of Agriculture, who is senior IAS Officer. He virtually handles the post of Director of Agriculture also. He is assisted by Five Additional Directors of Agriculture, of whom one Additional DA is the principal, SAMETI Old Malakpet and other four are stationed in the Commissionerate of Agriculture.
v District level:
ü At the District level the Department is headed by Joint Director of Agriculture and assisted by DDAs ADAs and AOs at District, Division and Mandal levels
v Agriculture Division level:
ü The Divisional ADA is the head of the Agriculture division and assisted by the agricultural officers at the mandal level. There are 254 divisions in the state
v Mandal Level:
ü In all the 1105 Rural and Urban mandals of the state, atleast one Agriculture Officer is working in each mandal. These AOs are assisted by few Agricultural Extension Officers in the field work
ü Statement showing Sanctioned strength of Technical Staff in Agriculture Department is given below
v Laboratories :
ü The Department has setup five pesticide testing laboratories, five FCO Laboratories, two seed Testing Laboratories 82 Soil Testing Laboratories(including AMC level) and -14 Biological Control Laboratories in the state