Despite a 23 per cent deficit in monsoon this year, food grain production will not be affected. Besides, the Government has enough stocks of rice and wheat to face any adverse situation. “Hence, there is no need for any panic,” said Prof. K.V. Thomas, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

The Minister was in the city today to participate in a seminar on Advanced Technologies for Global Food Market, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry – Southern Region.

Speaking to a group of mediapersons on the sidelines of the event, he said the Government has one year’s supply of rice and three years’ supply of wheat in its storages. His Ministry saw no problem in sugar production too. Though there has been a shortfall in sugarcane growth in Karnataka, some parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the better-than-expected harvest in UP will make up for the losses. “Last year, sugar production exceeded our expectations by 15 lakh tonnes at 260 lakh tonnes. And we hope, this year it will not go below 230 lakh tonnes,” he said.

However, he said there would be an impact on production of pulses and oil seeds.

His Ministry, along with the Union Ministry of Agriculture, proposed to take a call on how much of pulses and edible oil should be imported to maintain adequate supplies when they meet on July 31 (Tuesday). “We will have a clear picture by then,” he said.

(This article was published on July 27, 2012)
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