YSR seeks investment, calls for second green revolution
May 9, 2007 - 2:23:13 PM

Washington, May 9 - Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has invited multinational companies, industrialists and experts in the US to invest in the state.

He met CEOs of various multinational companies, industrialists, IT and biotechnology experts and agricultural scientists of international repute at St. Louis.

The chief minister, popularly known as YSR, also met several NRIs and discussed with them the possibilities of mutual cooperation to boost IT, industries and modern farming in Andhra Pradesh.

He invited investors to come forward with specific proposals and promised to extend all types of incentives and create a proactive government investor friendly administration with single window clearance for new industries and projects.

Some came up with innovative ideas such as Swiss grass in wetland to produce ethanol.

US-based NGO Optimum Agricultural Solutions & Irrigations System -, for instance, offered a comprehensive package of solutions, including uninterrupted power supply from alternative and renewable resources to help agriculture and to make farming sustainable.

OASIS acts as a central hub for organising strategic solutions to address a multitude of problems faced by the farming community, especially in developing countries.

It has offered to bring all possible resources and technologies from various US and UN organisations, research institutions such as the International Irrigation Institute, UNDP and UNEP to Andhra Pradesh.

Several research organisations, including Danforth Plant Sciences Centre, St. Louis, also expressed their willingness to work with Indian agriculture research institutions.

Besides, multinational companies like Cargill also met the chief minister and showed interest in investing in Andhra Pradesh.

Reddy later told the World Agricultural Congress in St. Louis that growth in agriculture in India could not be sustained without a second green revolution and farmers' welfare.

Delivering the keynote address at the Congress Tuesday, he shared the experience of India, especially Andhra Pradesh, to emphasise that prosperity could be achieved through investments in agriculture.

Calling for greater farm investment, the chief minister said levels of investments and rate of capital formation in agriculture had been falling in the last one decade across the globe, leading to stagnated production and productivity levels.

Reddy also urged the developing countries to provide market access to the farmers of the developing countries and fair terms of trade for their produce.

'Unless the second green revolution that we are now talking about leads to improved welfare of the farmers, we cannot sustain the growth in agriculture,' he said.

The chief minister, who came to power in the state three year ago with the overwhelming support from farming community, referred to initiatives launched by his government to prove how investments in agriculture could bring a change.

'I represent a state in India with 80 million population, where about 62 percent of the work force is directly employed in agriculture. About 40 percent of our agriculture is under canal irrigated and the rest is dry land agriculture.

'We have embarked upon a massive programme of augmenting the entire irrigation potential available in the state. The programme is to bring three million hectares additionally under assured irrigation within the next five years. In the first three years, we had already spent about $4.6 billion dollars on irrigation, which is much more than what was spent in the last 15 years.

'We could enhance the investments in agriculture and irrigation in the last three years by 10 times compared to the previous periods... What is true for my state is true for my country and to all the developing countries as well. We have to find resources for investments,' YSR said.

Coming from a state where more than 4,000 farmers have committed suicide since 1995, Reddy regretted that the farming community was still in distress.

'In spite of rapid strides made by many developing countries including India in agriculture and allied activities, thanks to the green revolution providing food security to vast millions of population, the economic condition of the farmers unfortunately has not improved,' he said.

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