Andhra plans three agri business investment regions (Lead)

March 8th, 2012 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 8 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh plans to roll out three integrated Agri Business Investment Regions (ABIRs) and take other initiatives to catapult the state as a prime destination for investment in the farm sector.

Agriculture and Agriculture Technology Mission Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana said the ABIRs would be developed like the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the state planned to rope in Israel, the Netherlands and the US as partners to bring in investment and technology.

“The ABIRs are still in formulation stage and we will conduct a workshop next month to discuss the proposal with all the stakeholders,” the minister said after making a presentation on “Opportunities and Scope of Agri Business in Andhra Pradesh”.

The state plans to roll out three ABIRs - Anantapur to Adilabad, Nellore to Icchapuram and Guntur to Warangal.

The infrastructure for ABIRs will include dedicated water supply, gas pipelines to establish mini power plants, establishing backward linkages by way of rural transformation centres - including cold storage, warehousing and rural mart and forward linkages with marketing complexes, aggregation centres and retail chains.

The state government also proposed to create a separate entity which would develop the ABIRs on public-private partnership basis and rope in international companies as joint venture partners, he said.

“This will create five lakh direct or indirect jobs and encourage ‘agriprenuers’ in rural areas as well as the graduates coming from business management institutions,” said the minister, who took over the agriculture portfolio last month.

P.S. Raju, director, Ace Corporate Agri Ventures Pvt. Ltd., said the ABIRs envisage an investment of Rs.67,000 crore and would provide direct employment to 50,000 people and indirect employment to 450,000.

He said the proposed investment regions would comprise 10 integrated agro food parks or integrated livestock parks, 10 agro logistic parks, 50 rural transformation centres and 200 community development parks.

“This will be a multi-modal infrastructure development to empower the rural communities to create high value agri business opportunities,” he said.

The proposed corporation will benchmark the ABIRs with those of developed countries and add value addition to the Indian food processing industry.

“A few innovative ideas, which are being contemplated, will certainly make Andhra Pradesh one of the developed states for agriculture on par with Israel and Netherlands,” the minister added.

The state government was also discussing with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the central government to implement an scheme wherein all the applicable subsidies would be routed through a single window.

This scheme also involves issuing soil health cards to farmers. The initiative will be taken up in the three regions simultaneously, covering around 10,000 farmers in each cluster.

The state contemplates to send a delegation to Tel Aviv in Israel during the Agri Tech-2012 exhibition there in May to explore business opportunities.

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