Visakhapatnam: Joint Collector II M V Suryakala announced to take up awareness programmes towards eliminating ganja crop at the media briefing held at Collectorate on Saturday. She said the focus would be laid on five mandals – GK Veedhi, Chintapalli, Pedabayalu, G Madugula and Munchingput– wherein ganja is being cultivated on a large scale in the district.
Assistant Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise Department M Bhaskar Rao stated that as an alternative, rajma and coffee plantations would be recommended to tribal farmers along with the methods of cultivating them so as to garner more income.
“Involving various departments, including revenue, ITDA, forest and district administration, we have been creating awareness on the elimination of ganja crop for the past two years,” he stated.
He stated that the alternative crops would help the farmers wean away from ganja cultivation. He added, “Government is also considering other modes of livelihood opportunities for ganja growers in Agency area. There are 149 villages in the Agency Area that grow ganja.” Kalajathas, wall posters and pamphlets will be used to spread awareness among tribals in the area. More