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‘Govt. taking agricultureto a different level’

Minister for Agriculture Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy on Friday said that infrastructure development works have been taken up across all agricultural colleges in the State at a cost of ₹384 crore. Mr. Reddy was at the regional agricultural research station, Lam, to lay the foundation stone for the agricultural market intelligence centre, the digitalisation centre, to be set up at a cost of ₹64 lakh, and the satellite-based agricultural resources inventory and monitoring centre, to be set up at a cost of ₹1.75 crore. The remote sensing technology offers techniques to characterise spatial and temporal distribution of agricultural resources. Later, he inaugurated the seed processing and storage built at a cost of ₹50 lakh. The intelligence centre, to be set up with ₹1.05 crore , will forecast the prices of principal commodities and disseminate better market information among farmers and other stakeholders. Addressing a meeting, the Minister said that agriculture had registered double-digit growth due to a series of measures taken by the State government, including soil health cards and input subsidy. Plea to students Mr. Reddy said preliminary estimates revealed that crops on 65,000 hectares have been damaged due to cyclone Phethai, adding natural calamities are coming in the way of farmers realising better prices. He put the loss at ₹168 crore. The Minister also interacted with students of Bapatla Agricultural College who have been protesting against the decision to allow students of private college to compete for jobs. He advised them to call off the protest and attend classes.