HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE COLLEGE
Agricultural College, Naira is situated in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The North Coastal Andhra Pradesh comprises three northern districts of the state of Andhra Pradesh, namely, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapanam. The economy of the region is primarily dependent upon agriculture.
There are a large number of students opting for their career in agriculture after completing their 10+2 education. However, before the establishment of this College, the nearest Agricultural College was situated at Bapatla in Guntur district. Bapatla is about 600 km away from the location of this College. The railways is the only means of direct communication to Bapatla requiring almost twelve hours of journey. There was thus a justified and persistent demand from various quarters including parents of the students for one more agricultural college somewhere in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh exclusively to cater to the needs of the region. Besides, the number of aspiring students was increasing year after year. Thus, the necessity of a new agricultural college was felt all the more necessary.
Yet, there was one more necessity of a new agricultural college. An agricultural college serves not only as a mere centre of producing Graduates and Post Graduates in agriculture, but also as a knowledge and technology centre, and most importantly a centre for extending the latest techniques and technologies in the field of agriculture to the farmers of the region for their adoption. The existing College located far off at Bapatla was not adequate to serve these interests of this region primarily due to two reasons viz. distance factor and the different kind of agricultural background of the region.
The north coastal Andhra Pradesh is characteristically different from the rest of the state with regard to soils, climate, physiography, cropping pattern, and the most importantly, the scale of tapping of the natural resources in reaping bountiful harvests. Thus, soils of the area are highly varied and therefore warrant skilled management. The region does possess as many as five of the six soil Orders of Soil Taxonomy found in the entire state.
- A large number of crops of the area are different from those of the rest of the state e.g. mesta is an important crop of the region and so is rice-fallow pulses practiced in the region. Similar is the case with a number of vegetables, fruit crops and spices and condiments grown in the high altitude area of Visakhapatnam district.
- The region does have large areas with high attitude, high rainfall and mean low winter temperature. This makes the agriculture of such areas and its management altogether different.
- The degree of awareness of the farmers of the region about the today’s cutting edge technology in agriculture was drastically lower.
Keeping primarily such objectives against the back-drop and to make agricultural education and research of much more relevance in the context of the needs, the socio-economic and cultural milieu of the region and keeping in mind the persistent representations from various quarters of the region – North Coastal Andhra Pradesh -, the Government of Andhra Pradesh after careful consideration resolved to start a new agricultural College at Naira in Srikakulam District, specifically to cater to the needs and aspirations of the people of the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam and the upland areas of the district of East Godavari.
And so Agricultural College, Naira was established on 7th August, 1989 as one more constituent college of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (now Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University).
LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILTY – Naira, a village located in Srikakulam district, is six km away from the nearest railway station Srikakulam Road of East Coast Railway on the Howrah Chennai trunk route and is connected by direct trains to many of the major cities of India such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. The College is situated on Amadalavalasa – Narasannapeta Road and is eighteen km away from the district Head Quarter town Srikakulam. The College can be reached from the railway station and the nearby towns by both Public and private transport system. The Bay of Bengal is on the east side of the College at a distance of about 10 km.
The nearest airport is at Visakhapatnam at a distance of about 120 km. Direct flights operate between Visakhapatnam and major cities of the country including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. Excellent road network is available to reach the airport from the College.
CLIMATE – The climate is characterized principally by a warm humid summer with annual rainfall of approximately 1086 mm. The South West and North East monsoon contribute to about seventy and twenty per cent of the annual rainfall, respectively. The major operational period of the South West and North East monsoon are between the months of June to September and November to January. Nearly, ten per cent of the rainfall is received through occasional local showers.
The winter is mild and pleasant. The maximum temperature in summer and the minimum temperature in winter are usually 45 and 15 0 C, respectively.
SOILS – The soils of the region are greatly varied ranging from coastal sands formed from sandstone and quartzite rocks to red and lateritic soils. Alluvial soils with their parent materials deposited by the river or flowing water systems of the past constitute a large part of the area. The pH is largely below 7 i.e on the acidic side; however, also there are isolated patches of saline and alkali soils. Five of the six Soil Orders of Soil Taxonomy could be found in the region, notably, Alfisols, Entisols and Inceptisols.
PRINCIPAL CROPS – The principal crops of the region are rice, mesta, sugarcane, pulses particularly, rice fallow pulses, maize, groundnut and few other oil seeds, a large number of vegetables and fruit trees particularly, coconut, cashew nut and mango.
MAJOR RIVERS – Vamsadhara is the main river of the region flowing from the Eastern side. The river passes mostly through Srikakulam district confluencing into the Bay of Bengal. The track length of the river is about 250 km with a catchment area of 41,000 km 2 . The other rivers and tributaries near the College are Nagavali and Suvarnamukhi. Incidentally, the three hostels of the College are named after these three rivers.
NEARBY PLACES OF INTEREST – A number of places worth visiting are located nearby. They include the famous Sun temple at Arasavalli (18 km), the abode of Lord Shiva at Srimukhalingam (35 km), the Kurma temple at Srikurmam (Kurma – the tortoise, is a reincarnation of the Lord according to Hindu belief) and a Buddhist monastery at Shalihundam (6 km). Few beaches on the Bay of Bengal, notably Calingapatnam and Mugadalapadu are also worth mentioning.