To create sustainable value and enhanced incomes for the small and marginal farmers of Andhra Pradesh, the state Government will partner with ICRISAT along the entire value chain of crops.
A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was signed between the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP), India, and ICRISAT.
ICRISAT will undertake detailed market analysis and also provide strategic advisory support. Further, it will develop and support Innovation Platforms for technology prioritization and dissemination and innovative use of digital agriculture in the defined areas of collaboration. It will also support in capacity building of SERP staff in relevant business management practices.
GoAP through SERP is the custodian of 9 million self-help group members in rural and urban Andhra Pradesh. Through its association with the World Bank, SERP has been able to build a strong and sustainable network of federated community institutions which has, over the last 15 years, accessed credit in excess of ` 440 billion
(US$ 6.5 billion) from formal banking institutions. As part of the third phase of this engagement (2015-2020), GoAP through SERP and the World Bank formally launched the Andhra Pradesh Rural Inclusive Growth Project (APRIGP) on 19 November in Vijayawada.
APRIGP, under the Social Empowerment Mission, Department of Rural Development, has a strong focus on improved livelihoods through an integrated and holistic value chain approach and enterprise promotion and leveraging social capital created for improving human development outcomes and improving vulnerability support services with the innovative use of ICT.
The formal launch of APRIGP was done in the presence of Mr N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh, senior officials of the World Bank and GoAP and private sector organizations. At the event, Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, signed the MoU and spoke on the importance of value chains in providing holistic and sustainable solutions for the small and marginal farmers of the state. He said that with the innovative use of ICT and digital agriculture, ICRISAT was well poised to add substantial value to the APRIGP with markets research, Innovation Platform and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Dr Bergvinson also participated in a panel discussion, moderated by Mr Sitaramachandra Machiraju of the World Bank on ‘Human Development and ICT’. SERP officials Mr Solomon Arokiaraj, CEO; Mr M Srinivas Baba, Director Farm Livelihoods and Ms Mrinalini Shastry, Director, Evaluation and Learning were actively engaged in structuring the MoU and the panel discussions.