Andhra Pradesh State is “ the bejewelled rice bowl of India” Agriculture plays an important role in the livelihoods of people as 63% of the population in Andhra Pradesh live in rural areas and depend on Agriculture and related livelihood opportunities. The Agriculture plays an important role not only in the economy but also for achieving the food security for the state and also for the country. Out main challenges are, growing water scarcity, degrading natural resources like land and decreasing per capita availability of land and water resources. Further, rainfed agriculture in the whole state and irrigated agriculture in the coastal region is very much vulnerable to the impacts of natural calamities.
The State of Andhra Pradesh with 13 districts has great potential for agriculture and allied sectors. Andhra Pradesh State consists of six agro climatic zones and five different soil types to grow wide range of crops throughout the year.
Prakasam District was formed in the 1970 with the amalgamation of backward areas of erstwhile Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool Districts with Head quarters at Ongole.
Prakasam District lies between 14.57 and 16.17 Northern longitude and 78.43 and 80.25 Eastern longitude. The District is bounded by Bay of Bengal on East, Nellore District on South, Kurnool district on west and Guntur District on North. The District is having 102 Kms of long coast line passing through eleven coastal mandals.
The total Geographical area of the District is 16,94,212 Hec. Of which 4,41,594 Hec, accounts for forests which is 26.06% of the total area.
Prakasam District is divided into 56 mandals under:Mandalika Vyavastha” System. There are 1105 Revenue Villages in the District. The entire District is divided into 12 Agriculture Sub –divisions with each 4 to 6 mandals.
The Agricultural Season commences with the onset of south west monsoons in the district mostly during the 2nd week of June every year.
All the Sub divisions in the district are broadly categorized into 3 revenue divisions at district level which are Ongole, Kandukur, Markapur. The agro climatic conditions are different in the three divisions of the district, Ongole division is located in high rainfall Zone covered under Krishna Westen Delta(KWD) and Nagarjuna Sagar Project(NSP). Kandukur division falls under moderate rainfall zone with Darsi and Tallur areas covered under Nagarjuna Sagar Project. The Markapur division falls under scanty rainfall zone covering a small area of Tripuranthakam mandal under NSP.
The rains continue through October – November months with rain fall around 30 -40% of the annual rainfall.The winter commences with December month and continues upto February with a drastic fall in temperatures. March, April, May months experience hot weather with summer winds and the sea breeze rendering the climate now and then moderate in and around coastal belt.
Prakasam District is having all kinds of soils, of which Red Soils are 51.3%, Black Soils are 40.8%, Sandy loam soils are 5.9% and sandy soils are 2%. The crops are grown in Rainfed conditions, and the production of different corps is dependent on the rainfall received, all the soils are well drained with low Nitrogen content, medium P2O5 and K2O Nutrients.
- The Department of Agriculture has been created mainly to provide Agricultural Extension services to farmers and to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community, introduction of high yielding varieties, laying demonstrations, imparting training to farmers to improve skills & knowledge to boost up the agricultural Production and productivity.
- The other objectives of the Department are to assess requirements of agriculture inputs well in advance and to regulate their production and monitor timely supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, implements, credit etc., to farmers.
- The Department also performs the statutory functions under various acts and regulations (i.e., Quality control) to ensure supply of quality inputs i.e., Seeds, Fertilizers and Pesticides to farmers and implementation of Dangerous Machines Regulation Act.
- The Department also carries out certain other facilitating functions such as 1) soil testing 2) soil and water conservation 3) soil survey 4) credit assessment / arrangements 5) media production 6) training to farmers 7) arranging P.P. campaigns /Diagnostic team visits whenever necessary 8) monitoring and evaluation 9) disaster management 10) crop insurance 11) agricultural mechanisation 12) extending technical assistance to various agencies.
- Involvement of marginal and small farmers in crop diversification and food security are the important aspects to be addressed in accelerating crop diversification in the district.
- Credit provides necessary liquidity and insurance provides command over resource to the farming community.
- Provision of banking facilities in un-banked and under banked areas, financial inclusion, SHG bank-linkage programme, financing rural godowns and agricultural Infrastructure are the thrust areas
- Re-engineering extension approach for effective extension reach
- Empowering the farmer with advance agricultural practices
- Capacity enhancement of Departmental Staff for an efficient extension of technology
- Ensuring timely input supply.
- Regulation of inputs and quality control.
- Soil test based fertilizer recommendation
- Promotion of self- reliance in seed production among farmers.
- Promotion of Integrated Crop Management through INM, IPM, efficient water management, etc.
- Promotion of organic farming to meet the demand of World Market.
- Correcting Micronutrient Zinc deficiency
- Reclamation of Problematic soils to restore the productivity
- Natural Resource Management through watershed approach for agricultural land development and environmental stability
- Calamity Management in the event of drought, floods, hailstorms etc.
- Promoting cultivation of low risk and low cost intensive crops
- Farm Mechanization for item and cost effective farming practices.
- Promoting Farmers Organization (Rythu Mithra Groups) for technical and monitory benefits in Agriculture and allied activities.
- Facilitate the farmer to avail Agriculture Credit
- Women Empowerment and gender balance.
- Provide day-to-day information to farmer on crop production, input supply, and marketing through Internet Services.
The Departments has a strong chain of human resources consisting of more than 400 extension staff of field and supervisory cadre. The staff is periodically oriented with the advance technology emerging from time to time by re-engineering through trainings, workshops, interactions etc., in addition, the department supports a number of Farmers Training Centers, laboratories, Farmers Field Schools etc., to equip the farmer with necessary deal and knowledge for successful agriculture.
The research support to the Department is endowed by the State Agriculture University and the National Institutes. The input support is solicited through various autonomous bodies like APSSDC, APSAIDC, APMARKFED, APOILFED, HACA etc., The other eco-coordinating Departments are Horticulture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation, Forests, Rain Shadow Area Development and Power.
At the District level the Department is headed by Joint Director of Agriculture and assisted by DDAs, ADAs and AOs at District, Division and Mandal levels
Agriculture Division level
The Divisional ADA is the head of the Agriculture division and assisted by the agricultural officers at the mandal level. There are 12 Agriculture divisions in the district.
In all the 56 Rural and Urban mandals of the district , atleast one Agriculture Officer is working in each mandal. These AOs are assisted by few Agricultural Extension Officers in the field work
The Department has 3 SoilTesting Laboratories(including AMC level) and 1 Biological Control Laboratory in the district.
District level organisation structure chart
- Soil sample collection
- Soil Health Cards Distribution
- Subsidy Seed Distribution
- Distribution of Micronutrients
- Enrollment in crop insurance
- Issue of COCs
- Loaning to Tenant farmers
- Polam Pilusthondhi
- Trainings to Farmers, Farm Women and RMGs
- Farm mechanisation
- On farm Extension Demonstration
- Zero Budget Natural Farming