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  INTRODUCTION

              Agriculture - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said "Everything else can wait but not for Agriculture" Worldwide - is a vital determinant of the livelihoods of small holder farmers and rural communities.

           Agriculture growth throughout global history - has been the pro-genitor of broad-based economic growth and development, as linkages between farmers and non-farm economic generated widely-based employment, income and growth. Sustainable growth in Agriculture sector is the "need of the hour" not only for the State of Andhra Pradesh but also for the Country as a whole. Economy of Andhra Pradesh continues to be predominantly agrarian.


           Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest States in India. The population (2011 census) is 84.6 million i.e., 6.99% of India's total population of 1210 million (2011 census). It accounts for 8.4% of India's total geographical area and 6.99% of population, ranking 4th in terms of geographical area and 5th in terms of population among the Indian States. The density of population at 308 per Sq.km is lower than the density 382 at all India level. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes account respectively for 16.2% and 6.6% of the total population in the State. About one-third of the State population is living in urban areas and the rest is in the rural areas of the State. Rural Andhra Pradesh is predominantly agricultural with more than three fourth of its work force engaged directly inAgriculture sector.


           Andhra Pradesh "the bejeweled rice bowl of India". Agriculture is the chief source of income to the State's economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari, and Krishna, flow through the State providing irrigation. Andhra Pradesh is agrarian in character, and it is considered as one of the most progressive States with respect of agriculture development, maintaining high levels of crop production compared to several other States.


Significant growth inAgriculture:

           Around -6.22% declined growth rate over previous year of first revised estimates at Constant prices (2004-05) of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and -2.69% during 2012-13, whereas at current prices -1.29% during 2011-12 and 7.63 % during 2012-13 estimate as advance declined due to drought conditions prevailed in the State.

           Around 8.70% contributes of first revised estimates at current prices of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and 10.79% during 2012-13 as advance estimates whereas at constant prices 0.78% during 2011-12 and 1.96% during 2012-13 and also it provides employment to around 65% of the State's population. The State enjoys a position of supremacy in respect of crop production (source: Socio economic survey 2012-13).

           The strengths of fundamentals of the economy is evident from the remarkable transition to a high growth path, which was achieved in the recent years. With the various strategic initiatives put in place by the State/ Department ofAgriculture by and large have improved the living standards of the people. Basic theme of the 12th Five Year Plan is "Faster, More inclusive and sustainable growth".

 
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