India needs to raise crop production 40 percent by 2025: Pawar

February 4th, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) India will need to ramp up its foodgrain production by almost 40 percent to meet the demand of burgeoning population by 2025, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here Wednesday.Speaking at a global conference on conservation in agriculture, Pawar said the demand for food would increase voraciously with rising population.

“The demand for food is growing rapidly due to increasing population and rising income levels and we need to produce about 320 million tonnes of food grains by 2025,” he said.

India has made a record production of 230.67 million tonnes of foodgrains in 2007-08 for the current population of 1.1 billion. This will rise to 1.3 billion in 2025.

“It implies more pressure on our existing land, soil and water resources which are already in short supply and degraded, a situation being faced by many developing countries today,” he said.

The minister noted that India needed to put more areas under irrigation, use water efficiently and increase efficiency of input.

This year, Pawar said India could go past last year’s record production.

Agriculture Commissioner N.B. Singh, who was also present on the occasion, said oilseeds could see a record bumper crop, as acreage had increased by 1.5 million hectares in both kharif and rabi seasons.

“Crops are looking good. As of now, there is no concern. But the next two weeks are crucial,” he said, dismissing anxiety of the effect of rise of temperature on crops.

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