Drought spoils farm sector's dream run
A hefty increase of Rs 1 lakh crore in farm credit target to Rs 5.75 lakh crore was a major highlight for the sector in 2012, while the continuing farmers suicide and the reports of a Parliamentary panel and a Supreme Court appointed committee recommending ban on field trial in GM crops were setbacks.
After a good monsoon last year, higher support price to farmers and the central scheme to bring green revolution in eastern India paid off in achieving a record foodgrains production in the 2011-12 crop year ended June this year.
An all-time high production were recorded in rice, wheat, cotton and sugarcane, enabling the country to export these food items in a big way. India exported nearly 10 million tonnes of rice this year, beating Thailand to become largest exporter in world. Not only that, the Centre allowed 4.5 million tonnes of wheat export and sold huge quantity of wheat to bulk consumers from its godowns to ease storage crunch.
The euphoria, however, did not last long as monsoon, the life-line of Indian agriculture, played hide and seek game throughout the season, resulting in drought in four states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The government tried to tide over the crisis by announcing subsidies on
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