5.1 With more than half of the State’s population still dependent for their livelihoods either wholly or significantly on some form of farm activity, expansion of farm incomes continues to be the potent weapon for reducing poverty. Rapid and sustainable growth in Agriculture has been identified not only as a key driver for economic development but also for achieving self sufficiency and ensuring food security to the people. Over the decades, Andhra Pradesh has witnessed a gradual transformation in the agriculture sector. The nature of the transformation itself has undergone change overtime. The initial and noteworthy transformation that took place during 1980s was the shift from a traditional cereal-based system towards commercial commodities such as oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane. However, during 1990s, when the crop sector witnessed high volatility due to consecutive droughts and decelerating crop yields, the transformation although continued, was more towards high-value commodities such as fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, poultry and fish,. In fact, the high-value commodities performed impressively and rescued the agriculture sector to a great extent. Achieving a growth rate in excess of 4% in Agriculture sector during 11th Five Year Plan period was set with the objective of shifting a sizable excess labor force from the Agriculture sector to other non-farm rural sectors especially to rural industry through skill development, with ultimate object of improvement of productivity in agriculture sector. Ensuring Food security and providing gainful employment to the labor force continues to be the essential premise for the socio economic development of the people and employment guarantee schemes like Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGS) and other Rural Livelihoods programmes are effectively catering to this objective. Improving farm incomes and ensuring sustainable growth in the agriculture and allied sectors is on the top of the agenda for the state. Overwhelming priority accorded to the irrigation sector on one hand and the various farmer friendly initiatives put in place on the other, appeared to have helped the State achieve the growth targets during the 11th Plan so far in Agriculture. The state enjoys a position of pre-eminence in respect of crop production. Andhra Pradesh is set to scale new heights in agriculture during the 12th Five Year Plan, especially with renewed focus on micro irrigation, Sri cultivation micronutrient application, development of dry land agriculture, Farm mechanization increasing storage capacity and other agriculture related strategies. Land Utilization The pattern of Land Utilization in the state is depicted in the following diagram. Land Utilisation in Andhra Pradesh 2010-11
1% 2% 2% 5% 23%
Net Area Sow n Current Fallow Barren & Uncultivable Land Culturable Waste Misc.Tree crops
Forest Land put to Non Agri.Uses Other Fallow Lands Permanent pastures
The total Geographical area of the State is 275.04 lakh hectares. Out of the Geographical area, 41.04 % is under Net Area Sown (112.88 lakh hectares), 22.65 % under Forest (62.30 lakh hectares), 8.10 % under current fallow lands(22.29 lakh hectares), 10.08% under Land put Non23
Agricultural uses (27.71 lakh hectares), 7.37 % under Barren and uncultivable land (20.26 lakh hectares) and remaining 10.76 % under other fallow land, cultivable waste, permanent Pastures and other grazing lands and Land under miscellaneous tree crops and groves not included in the Net Area Sown (29.60 lakh hectares). The Land Utilization particulars from 1956-57 to 2010-11 are given in Annexure 5.1. Rainfall The rainfall received during the South West Monsoon period for 2011-12 was 539 mm. as against the normal rainfall of 624 mm. recording a deficit by 13.6 %. The rainfall received during the North East monsoon period for 2011-12 was 113 mm as against the...