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Amid Covid-19, AP procures record quantities of agri-produce

Amaravati, May 26 (IANS) Despite the Covid-19 outbreak and the restrictions brought about by the nationwide lockdown since March 24, the Andhra Pradesh government has managed to procure record quantities of agricultural produce and help farmers of the state cope with the economic uncertainty.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Tuesday that Rs 1,100 crore was spent on procurements during the Covid-19 lockdown alone, which is half of the overall money spent during the last eight months.

Reviewing the government programmes at a brainstorming session on agriculture involving diverse stakeholders, including farmers and experts, the Chief Minister said that 5.6 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of agricultural produce were procured in the last eight months at a cost of Rs 2,200 crore.

In a deviation of sorts from the previous years, the state government also procured perishable commodities this time around. Government officials said that 46,89,000 beneficiaries have benefited from the Rythu Bharosa scheme which provides Rs 13,500 in the form of timely assistance to farmers all year round.

Under the scheme, Rs 7,500 is given to the farmers in the month of May to help them procure seeds, fertilisers and other inputs, while Rs 4,000 and Rs 2,000 are provided in the months of October and January, respectively, to meet the Kharif and Rabi harvesting expenditures, respectively.

In the last year, the state government spent Rs 10,209 crore for the scheme, where money was directly deposited in the beneficiary’s bank account. The government is also providing free crop insurance to farmers across the state.

“After e-cropping, the farmer would only have to pay a nominal amount of 1 rupee for the insurance, the rest of the premium will be paid to the companies by the government. The government has paid premiums worth Rs 1,270 crore since we came to power,” the Chief Minister said while speaking about the scheme.

The YSR Congress government headed by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will complete its first year in office on May 30.

–IANS

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