WTO Cell in Andhra Pradesh to Facilitate Awareness Among Farmers

WTO Cell in Andhra Pradesh to Facilitate Awareness Among Farmers

November 4, 2005, Business Line

To create awareness among farmers about WTO (World Trade Organisation) and how it impacts them, the State Government has opened a dedicated cell at the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture here.

The WTO Cell would gather the latest information on all global trade agreements relating to agriculture, agro-based environment and market prices.

The cell was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, at the Farmers Day celebrations held here on Thursday. “This information will be passed on to the farmers,” an official working at the cell told Business Line.

The cell was created under the Governance Reform Programme supported by the Centre for Good Governance. “It will prepare a WTO Strategy Document for agriculture in Andhra Pradesh. “Besides, it will take up regular documentation of WTO impacts on agriculture and allied sectors,” she said.

The cell will guide senior officials of the departments concerned on WTO related strategies. It will conduct market intelligence studies and collect international and national data on prices, cost of cultivation, tariff levels, production and export subsidies. “The experts will analyse these trends and put them in perspective for the farmers and other stakeholders,” she said.

The cell would also carry out SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for all the major commodities in the State in order to devise strategies. It would design and distribute information bulletins and media presentations on optimising production and marketing opportunities.

The Chief Minister also launched the National Horticulture Mission’s State Chapter. He announced the constitution of Oil Palm Advisory Committee. A Bio-Fertiliser Quality Control Laboratory was also launched. The Union Government had approved the Rs 327-crore action plan for three years to develop horticulture in the State. He asked farmers to install capacitors to their pump sets by March 31 next. He also advised them not to go for paddy cultivation under bores and wells. Such farmers would be made ineligible for the free power scheme, he said.