Agri Business

Agricultural growth to be 3 per cent this year

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 29, 2020 Published on April 29, 2020

Ramesh Chand, Member, Niti Aayog

Agriculture would come to the rescue of Indian economy and it will grow by 3 per cent this year despite all adverse conditions and thus would add at least 0.5 per cent to India’s GDP growth in 2020-21, said Ramesh Chand, Member Niti Aayog on Wednesday.

Chand, who along with Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, addressed the media here said an expected normal monsoon and nearly 40 to 60 per cent more water in reservoirs as compared to last year, would ensure a good crop output this year. On top of it, mandi prices of most agricultural commodities, including potatoes and onions, are better than last year and this would increase the farmers income, which would leadthem to invest more in farming this year, he said.

To buttress the point, Chand hinted at increasing sales of fertilisers and seeds in April. As compared to April last year, the sale of fertiliser in the country is 5 per cent more so far. If the sale of total fertiliser last April was 12.86 lakh tonnes, that was around 13.5 lakh tonnes till April 28 this year. “There are two more days left. If one includes the fertiliser sales today and tomorrow, it would be at least 8 per cent more than the same period of last year despite all adverse conditions due to the lockdown,” the Niti Aayog Member said.

Similarly, the sale of seeds sold through Krishi Vigyan Kendras during the first four months of the year was 20 per cent more than the corresponding period last year, Chand said. Earlier addressing the media, Tomar said the area under zaid (summer) crop this year was more than 57 lakh hectares, which is 38 per cent more than that in the previous year.

The Minister said the government is taking all measures to ensure that farming activities are not affected by the lockdown. While rabi pulses and oilseed crops are already harvested by the farmers, 88 per cent of wheat harvest is already completed. The rest would be done by next one week. Till Wednesday, the total wheat procurement by Central agencies has gone up to 117 lakh tonnes.

He said to make it easy for farmers to sell the commodities, 100 more mandis would join eNAM platform by May 1, taking the total number of mandis engaged in online trading of agricultural produce to 685. During the month of May, the attempt would be to take the total number of mandis on eNAM to 1,000, Tomar said.

He also said that 11 lakh big and small vehicles registered on Kisan Rath app recently launched by the Agriculture Ministry to help ferry farm produce from farmgate to mandi and between mandis and warehouses.

Published on April 29, 2020

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