An Ethiopian delegation led by the country’s Agricultural Minister Dr Meles Mekonen Yimer is in Andhra Pradesh to study the first-of-its kind Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs).
- The Ethiopian delegation will visit several RBKs and understand how they function.
- They will likely sign a MoU with the state government and Centre to transfer the know-how.
- Under this MoU, AP officials will provide training to Ethiopian officials on operation of RBKs, and share knowledge about the farming systems in the state.
What are ‘Rythu Bharosa Kendras’?
- Set up for the first time in the country (in Andhra Pradesh), the RBKs are single-window service centres for farmers that have been set up across the state of Andhra Pradesh.
- They are a one-stop solution to all farmers’ needs and grievances.
- RBKs sell pre-tested quality seeds, certified fertilisers and animal feed.
- Farmers can purchase or hire farm equipment, and even sell their produce at the prevailing MSP in the RBKs.
- Agriculture and horticulture officials manning the RBKs also provide services like soil testing and make recommendations — on which crops to sow, and quantity and type of fertiliser to be used.
- The state government also pays crop insurance, procures grains and makes payments to farmers through the RBKs.
- The Centre has recently nominated the RBK concept for the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s “Champion’’ award.
Benefits to farmers –
- Facilitates interaction between farmers and scientists —
- RBKs facilitate interaction between farmers, agriculture scientists, and agriculture extension officers right at the village level.
- Apart from providing services and items for sale, RBK officials demonstrate new farm equipment and provide training to farmers.
- Guides the farmers in choosing appropriate cropping pattern —
- Based on inputs provided bys officials after soil testing and weather conditions, many farmers have changed their cropping patterns.
- The RBKs, staffed by agriculture and horticulture graduates, help farmers decide the crops they should cultivate in a scientific manner.
- Other benefits —
- The RBKs have been responsible for elimination of spurious seeds and uncertified and dangerous fertilisers.
- They also assist in selling their produce at MSPs, through supporting systems of e-cropping, geo-tagging, and the CM App through which payments are made to farmers.