Benguluru: The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, on Friday said that the State government was planning to launch Tank Reliant Irrigation Area Development (TRIAD) Project, which was a feasible alternative creating minor irrigation sources in identified areas or districts for the overall improvement of agriculture productivity and rural livelihood.
He also made it clear that development and welfare have been the twin-agenda of the State government which was blessed with a competitive edge in several areas and was expected to be so in years to come.
Speaking at the Regional Consultations of Chief Ministers of Southern States on the Approach Paper to the 12th Five Year Plan here, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy said that Andhra Pradesh was the only State to have implemented comprehensive participatory irrigation management policy with 100 per cent water tax ploughed back, whereby the operations and management of irrigation has become self-sufficient.
The State has taken up two major irrigation projects – Pranahitha-Chevella and Polavaram Irrigation Project. The Polavaram Project would not only cater to the needs of the State in irrigation, power and drinking water, but also benefit the adjoining Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chattisgarh and Odisha States. The Pranahita-Chevella project provides irrigation facility to seven drought-hit districts by utilising the Godavari waters that was going into the sea.
Mr Reddy said that “Rs 12,396 crores was required for completion of 35 prioritized projects in the coming three years, to create an additional Irrigation Potential (IP) of over 36.76 lakh acres in the State.
He felt that this would support food security and contributes higher allocations to the nation’s pool. The share of the Centre in all AIBP projects may be increased to 75 per cent which would speed up the projects”, he added. Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy said that his government was planning to launch Tank Reliant Irrigation Area Development for overall development of agriculture productivity and rural livelihood.
The Chief Minister made it clear that the State was committed to set an ambitious target of 9 to 9.5 percent growth rate for the 12th Five Year Plan period. During the 11th Plan period, all the three sectors of the economy in the State have registered impressive growth and agriculture sector posted an average growth in excess of 6.5 percent during the four years of the 11th Plan so far. The State was always committed to implement all the developmental programs that were useful to the larger section of the society, especially the under-privileged with a broad inclusive strategy during the 12th Plan period, he maintained.
Mr Reddy claimed that Andhra Pradesh was making efforts to increase the production of agricultural crops through productivity enhancement, crop diversification and optimized input use. “We are planning to encourage high value commodities and promote agro-processing industry and agri-business. Our concern and focus during the 12th Plan would be on improving the functioning of the institutions related to markets, credit and agriculture research and enhancing investment in infrastructure like cold storage facilities, roads, ports and so on”. The State government has targeted to have 835 cold storages in five years. He also expressed concern over the widening disparity between the rising cost of inputs and the relatively static MSP, causing hardship and agitation among the farmers frequently. We need to formulate fixing of the MSP that was more firmly indexed to the cost of inputs, he added.
The Chief Minister said that agriculture sector whose future in the State once looked gloomy posted an average growth in excess of 6.5 per cent during four years of the 11th plan so far, he said, adding that inspired by the earlier performance, the State was also gearing up for the activity of making preparatory arrangements for 12th Five Year Plan in identifying the appropriate growth strategies and preparing strategy papers.