Foodgrain production in India is anticipated to touch a record 250 million tonnes in 2011-12, stated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The annual production target would be exceeded by five million tonnes, reported The Hindustan Times.
The production of cotton during this time period is estimated to be 34 million bales, which is another new record. The PM was addressing a workshop on ‘Policy Initiatives for Promoting Partnership between Stakeholders in Agriculture with Particular Reference to Rainfed and Dryland Farming' at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
Singh stated that Indian farmers have ‘done us proud’, but that ‘we still have a long way to go’. He mentioned that the UPA government has given considerable attention to the agriculture sector over the last seven years, and that it had succeeded in channelizing around INR4.74 lakh crore of bank credit into the agriculture and other allied sectors. He added that fund allocation for agriculture in the state plan expenditure has risen from 4.88 percent in 2006-07 to 6.04 percent in 2010-11.
‘Gross capital formation in agriculture and allied sectors has increased from 13.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in agriculture in 2004-05 to 20.1 percent in 2010-11,’ Singh stated, adding, ‘Agriculture and allied sectors have grown at an estimated rate of 3.5 percent during the Eleventh Plan compared to the growth rates of 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent during the Tenth and Ninth Plans respectively.’
Singh also stated that India’s agriculture sector has ‘enormous challenges’ to face in the years to come.