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Andhra Pradesh Becomes First State in India to Achieve IndG.A.P Certification

The State of Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the Union of India to get the IndG.A.P Certification from the Quality Council of India (QCI).

Shivangi Rai
Andhra Pradesh has established about 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBK) across the state in all Gram Panchayats.
Andhra Pradesh has established about 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBK) across the state in all Gram Panchayats.

The State of Andhra Pradesh has become the first state in the Union of India to get the IndG.A.P Certification from the Quality Council of India (QCI).

Andhra Pradesh has established about 10,778 Rythu Bharosa Kendralu (RBK) across the state in all Gram Panchayatswhich are acting as One Stop Centres for Farmers to get all the Farm input and agri & allied sector services. Through the RBKs, the state has been implementing the Farmer Field School (FFS) programme through which the Farmers are being trained on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

The state under the tripartite MoU with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been implementing a Technical cooperation programme titled “Strengthening Capacities of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to assist the farmers to adopt sustainable agri-food systems” through which the Filed level officers and Farmers have been trained on Good Agricultural Practices and sustainable agri-food systems practices.

The syllabus for GAP & FFS was developed by the State Agricultural University and State Horticultural University. FFS is being organized to enable the farmers to study and analyze the agro-ecological factors present in the field for taking viable and economical decisions for minimizing the cost of production through optimization of inputs and accelerating crop productivity as well as output quality by employing Integrated Crop Management (ICM) technology that contains Water Management, Integrated Pest Management(IPM), Integrated Weed Management(IWM), Integrated Nutrient Management(INM), and Farm Mechanization as its core ingredients.

  • FFS are organized in 14 sessions on an extent of 25 acres with 30 farmers to transform the farmers into the best decision makers through the transfer of Integrated Crop Management technology in major crops.

  • Two FFS programs, one in Kharif season and the other in Rabi are organized by VAA at each RBK level.

  • The VAA conducts FFS on a fixed day in a week for 14 weeks

  • Requirement-based Bio-pesticides and Bio-Fertilizers are supplied to the FFS farmers in the demo plots.

  • At the end of the season, a field day is organized duly inviting the maximum no. of other farmers in the village to discuss the outcome of the FFS.

The Approach of the FFS is educating the farmers through a ‘learning by doing’ approach on field diagnostic techniques like AESA (Agroecosystem analysis) and productivity-boosting technologies like Integrated Crop Management (ICM) practices to build the capacity of farmers for proper decision-making that results in the minimized cost of cultivation and intensified productivity in Agriculture.

Key activities performed in FFS

  • Pre-evaluation test to know the knowledge of the farmers before Polambadi

  • Baseline survey to explore production gaps and evolve suitable strategies

  • Agroecosystem analysis is to make a comprehensive analysis of the field conditions from an ecological perspective and to reach the point of decision-making.

  • On-farm PAR experiments like de-tillering, defoliation, predation experiments, etc., to strengthen the concept of Polambadi.

  • Off-farm PAR experiments (Method demonstrations) like seed treatment, seed germination, NSKE preparation, etc., at RBK level to showcase their method of application.

  • Special topics on ICM technologies (INM, IWM, IPM, water management, etc) to leverage the technologies for productivity enhancement.

  • Group dynamics to break the monotony and to refresh the farmer groups.

  • Field day in the end, to evaluate the variability in the cost of cultivation, yields, and gross and net incomes in Polambadi plots in comparison with non-polambadi plots.

  • Post evaluation test to know the knowledge levels of farmers enhanced with Polambadi.

During the last four years, about 54,531 Farmer Field Schools have been conducted involving 16.35 lakh farmers who were basically trained in Good Agricultural Practices.

 Impact Analysis of FFS:

  • The impact analysis of FFS done independently by the State Agricultural University and State Horticultural University disclosed that the cost of cultivation has been substantially reduced due to the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices when compared with Farmers’ practices adopted on their own, and the cost reduction is found to be ranging from 5 to 15% in different crops like Maize, Rice, Groundnut, and Cotton crops. This cost reduction is mainly attributed to a significant fall in the intensity of utilization of chemical inputs like pesticides and fertilizers.

  • The impact analysis also gives a positive inference on the dynamics of yield. Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Technology adopted in FFS plots has contributed to a significant rise in yields ranging from 9 to 27% when compared with Farmers’ practice in the above crops.

The State of Andhra established the AP State Organic Product Certification Authority in April 2022 and was notified as a Certification Body for GAP and Organic Certification. The APSOPCA submitted an application to QCI in October 2022 for IndG.A.P Accreditation. After the Technical evaluation by the QCI, the APSOPCA was granted the IndG.A.P certification on 18 April 2023 through which the individual Farmers or Groups of Farmers in Andhra Pradesh can get their yield Certified under IndG.A.P and access the premium markets across the Globe.

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