Increasing farm productivity key to food security: ThomasSeptember 15th, 2011 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Increasing agricultural productivity is a “key challenge for ensuring national food security,” according to Minister of State for Food and Agriculture K.V. Thomas.
Suggesting a programme in mission mode to bridge gaps in farm productivity, Thomas said: “Rainfed areas have a huge potential to raise production and increase farm income.”
He was addressing the Agriculture Leadership Summit 2011 on “Policy Reforms for Farm Growth” Wednesday.
Stating the role of technology, policies and infrastructure would be important in realizing the potential of rainfed agriculture, the food minister said “linking farmers to markets is a pre-requisite for augmenting farm production and farmers’ income”.
Pointing out that “there is a dire need to attract capital investment in agriculture through public and private participation, he said investment priorities must be oriented towards realistic growth of agriculture to meet the growing needs of the population.
Observing that “agriculture is confronted with new forms of risks and uncertainties related to natural calamities, global climate change, use of food for bio-fuels, uncertainty over prices, the food minister said role of knowledge system and institutional mechanisms for input supply, credit, crop and livestock insurance would be important in reducing both risks and uncertainties”.
Experts, including Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan, who mentored India’s Green Revolution, also participated in the meet, which took up issues of farm productivity, environmental challenges, land and subsidies reforms, food security and related issues.
“We will send our recommendations to the government,” said M.J. Khan, editor of Agriculture Today magazine whcih organised the meet.
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