Pawar projects grain output at 220-230 mn tonnes in 2010-11

September 17th, 2010 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Friday said India’s foodgrain output was expected at 220-230 million tonnes in 2010-11, with rice production expected to be significantly higher than in the preceding year.
“Monsoon this year has been good. The conditions for rice have been very favourable. I expect the overall foodgrain production to reach between 220-230 million tonnes because of the good monsoon,” Pawar said at a conference here on the prospects of food output.

“But because of deficient rainfall in major rice producing states such as West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, paddy production may not be as good as we had initially expected,” the minister added.

“Yet, the good southwest monsoon will also be favourable for the wheat crop. Reservoirs are full. The level of water in Bhakra Dam for instance is not seen in last 30 years. My expectation after talking to the states is 2010-11 will be bumper crop year.”

India is estimated to have produced just 218 million tonnes of grain this year because of bad monsoon, against the target of 239 million tonnes set at the beginning. In 2008-09, the grian output was at a record 234.47 million tonnes.

Drawing attention to pending reforms in the farm sector, Pawar said the pace at which food produce marketing reforms were being undertaken left much to be desired, and urged all states to recast the relevant policies at the earliest.

“This will create enabling environment for farmers and agro industry. In extension, we have to upscale the success achieved with Agriculture Technology Management Agency and introduce innovative mechanisms to reach out to farmers quickly,” he said.

Pawar said with ever increasing input costs, there was a need for optimum returns on investments and inputs. Accordingly, wastage in storage needed to be reduced, the food supply chain improved and incentives made attractive to attract private investment.

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