India Business
YSR calls for greater investment in agriculture
May 9, 2007 - 12:34:16 PM

Hyderabad, May 9 - Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy told the World Agricultural Congress in the US that growth in agriculture could not be sustained without a second green revolution and farmers' welfare.

Delivering the keynote address at the Congress in St. Louis 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, popularly known as YSR, 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.

A copy of YSR's speech was released here by the chief minister's office.

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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