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National Conference for Kharfi Campaign inaugurated
Apr '11
Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, called upon the agriculture and allied departments of the Union and State Governments to chalk out strategies 'to optimise use of available resources and maximise production for ensuring food and nutrition security of the nation'. He was addressing the National Conference on Agriculture – Kharif Campaign 2011.

The Minister expressed confidence that the Kharif Conference would help in development of new strategies so that benefits of crop development schemes and recommended technologies reached farmers well in time.

The Minister also announced that the country had achieved record production of wheat, pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals and cotton. As per the 3rd advance estimates of crop production released by the Minister, the overall foodgrain production has reached an all-time high level of 235.88 million tonnes in 2010-11.

Shri Pawar underlined that such high level of production was achieved despite significant crop damage due to widespread drought in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal, occurrence of cyclones, unseasonal and heavy rains and severe cold wave, and frost conditions in several other parts of the country.

Shri Pawar stated that agriculture was rejuvenating due to many initiatives taken in the recent years, including more investments going into agriculture, expansion of farm credit and subsidy on crop loans. To maximise food, fodder and oilseed production, the government was adopting a focussed approach with regard to various crops and regions. The new initiatives taken this year and continued from last year include schemes such as Extending Green Revolution to Eastern Region of the Country, organising pulses villages, National Mission for Protein Supplements, National Mission for Saffron, promoting nutri-cereals, raising new oil-palm plantations, and the Accelerated Fodder Development Programme.

The Minister also exhorted States to make the best use of the flexibility and funds available under the mega scheme, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Besides crop productin activities, RKVY can be used for long-term measures to rejuvenate agriculture and allied sector, he said.

'With only one year remaining for the 11th Five Year Plan, growth of about 8% will need to be achieved in the current year in order to clock 4% average annual growth in 11th Plan. This may be too optimistic a rate to achieve, but I am confident that with budget announcement of 2011-12 and launch of various new initiatives by Government coupled with efforts made by State Governments, State Agriculture Universities and farming community, it is possible to turn a new leaf in Indian agriculture, with bumper production of crops,' Shri Pawar said.

In his address, Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Arun Yadav, gave details of the recent initiatives taken by the government, especially those for technology transfer to the farmer's field.

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