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PTI / The Hindu / NEW DELHI, July 16, 2011.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar presents Krishi Karman award to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi during a function organised to celebrate the 83rd Foundation Day of the ICAR in New Delhi on Saturday - PTI.
Announcing a record foodgrain production at 241 million tonnes (MT) in 2010-11, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the country still needs to produce more to meet the rising demand, besides controlling high food prices.
The overall growth of agriculture is likely to be 3 per cent during the 11th Five year Plan (2007-2012), which is less than the targeted 4 per cent, he said.
“Although foodgrain production has since (after 2006-07) regained the requisite momentum and the agriculture sector as a whole is set to grow at 3 per cent per annum during the 11th Plan, we cannot be complacent.
“We must note that this is less than the targeted 4 per cent and a consequence in recent years has been unacceptable levels of food price inflation. I expect the 12th Plan to contain all measures that are required to accelerate our agricultural growth rate,” he said, while delivering foundation day lecture of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The foodgrain production in 2010-11 crop year (July-June) at 241 MT is higher by 5 MT than the forecast made in April and 23 MT more as compared to the previous year.
“An estimated production of 241 MT was achieved because of record production of wheat, maize and pulses,” Dr. Singh said
He, however, said the challenges that the agriculture sector faces in the coming years “remain large“.
01) Great, but last year's grains are rotting in the open yards, unprotected against the rains & pests resulting in lacks of tons of drainage of the National Wealth;
02) Supreme Court has repeatedly advised the Government to ensure the security of procured grains or at least distribute it to the poor, instead of allowing them to rot;
03) So far no action on the part of the Governments, except the Centre blaming the States and vice versa, while the precious grains continue to rot!
04) We are woefully short of storage infrastructure for grains that the local governments and FCI had to store in Schools, during Summer;
05) After Summer when Schools recommenced the new academic year, either the grains or stored in the open yards, without protection or the kids had to sit under Sun and Rains to study.
06) When will the Government think in serious terms and create adequate storage facilities, across India to stop this criminal wastage of the precious National Wealth?
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