Agri Business

Meeting 4% farm growth rate, a challenge now: Pawar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Testing times: The Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Mr Sharad Pawar, with former President Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, at the 84th Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research in the Capital on Monday. - Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

India not yet facing drought-like situation, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, has said.

Weak monsoon poses a challenge in maintaining the high food production, the Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, said here on Monday. The monsoon deficit continues to be at 23 per cent till date, but there is no drought-like situation, yet, he said.

Rueing that India’s agricultural growth is still influenced by monsoon and vagaries of nature, Mr Pawar said meeting the 4 per cent growth was a challenge this year. He said kharif sowing will go on till the first week of August even as farmers anxiously wait for rains.

Allaying fears about drought, he said: “We have not come to a level where we can apprehend a drought. We will wait up to the second week of August.” He was addressing the 84th Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research here. Mr Pawar said with the monsoon playing truant, it would really be a challenge to maintain the excellent performance of the last two years. India had hadbumper foodgrain harvests the last two years, with output touching a record high 257 million tonnes in 2011-12.

The Minister said the situation was serious in Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. About 20 districts in Karnataka are facing drought. Karnataka and Maharashtra have devised a contingency plan to help farmers deal with the situation, he said.

The sowing of paddy, a key kharif crop, however, is continuing in Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal and Assam that have received good rains.


To a query, Mr Pawar said there was no need to review the current export policy on foodgrains as the country had ample stocks of rice and wheat. For the first time, “we have exported 50 lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice, 15 lakh tonnes of wheat, 25 lakh tonnes of sugar and 100 lakh bales of cotton,’’ he said.

The Minister called upon ICAR scientists to evolve next generation technologies to meet the challenge of increasing farm productivity while maintaining natural resource base.

Published on July 16, 2012

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