A team building workshop for the Rythu Kosam project was held on 20 August at ICRISAT headquarters, India. Pilot site presentations were made by district coordinators at the workshop that was attended by nearly 75 participants from the Planning Department, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Dr YSR Horticultural University, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, NGOs and ICRISAT.
“We need to strengthen rural livelihoods and we have to look at the larger picture instead of focusing only on rainfed agriculture development.”
–Mr SP Tucker, Special Chief Secretary, Planning Department, and Agricultural Production Commissioner, Government of Andhra Pradesh
Risk mitigation strategies to tackle drought; soil nutrient and micronutrient management status; dissemination of technology at all project sites; and bridging yield gaps were some of the key points discussed at the workshop which aims to transform the primary sector in all the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh, India, by increasing productivity and improving rural livelihoods in horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and other sectors.
Mr SP Tucker, Special Chief Secretary, Planning Department, and Agricultural Production Commissioner, Government of Andhra Pradesh, emphasized the need to improve yield gaps in various districts across the state and cited the example of Rayalaseema region. He applauded Tamil Nadu’s digital agriculture initiative and spoke of the state’s participation in the project. A database of 70-80 lakh farmers will be available through this initiative, he said.
Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, spoke about the role of digital agriculture and urged the team to understand the needs of the stakeholders to provide a demand-driven knowledge and input delivery system. He encouraged the team to focus on better management practices by improving the ecosystem services offered by agriculture. He laid emphasis on transforming the education system in order to equip scientists and farmers to help achieve the required growth in the primary sector of the state.
Dr Suhas Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center, discussed strategies on how to achieve an 18% growth rate in the primary sector.