ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rythu Bharosa Kendras of Andhra Pradesh

A Note on the Ground Realities

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has established Rythu Bharosa Kendras (Farmer Assurance Centres) at the village level to take the agriculture-related services to the doorsteps of the farmers. Within three years of their advent, RBKs have found a place in the list of national best practices and NITI Aayog is proposing to replicate the model in other states. While decentralised service delivery is a positive development, the long list of its mandated services is proving to be a bottleneck for effective service delivery. This article examines the functioning of RBKs at the village level to evaluate the merits of the programme.

The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewer of EPW for constructive comments and suggestions. However, the usual disclaimers apply.

In 2020, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) established Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) (Farmer Assurance Centres) in all the panchayat villages (10,778, covering 70 lakh farmers) of the state to address all the problems, except that of credit, of farmers at one place. RBKs, established at a cost of `21.80 lakh per unit, are termed as “one-stop shops” that provide solutions to farmers from “seed to sale.” The services of RBKs include soil testing and advisories, seed certification and supply, quality input supplies (chemical as well as organic) at fair prices; crop and climate advisories, e-crop registration, promotion of modern technologies and crop practices, supply of farm machinery, livestock and fishery services, and procurement of produce at the minimum support price (MSP). Most of the RBKs operate from their own buildings, though some of them also operate from village panchayat buildings.

RBKs have found a place in the list of best practices compiled by the NITI Aayog in 2023. The NITI Aayog proposes to replicate the model in other states. RBKs have completed three years of operations and it is time for a critical review to provide mid-course guidance for improving the delivery of services. Since there are no publicly available third-party evaluations, this note examines the functioning of RBKs at the village level to evaluate the merits of the programme for a nationwide roll-out. This assessment is based on our first-hand information and observations from 15 RBKs in the Kollipara mandal of Guntur district,1 including 15 office bearers (one from each RBK) and about 60 farmers (five from each RBK). Besides this, officials and farmers from other districts were interviewed over the phone.

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Updated On : 29th Nov, 2023
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