Drought spoils farm sector's dream run

Dec 27 2012, 10:24 IST
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The agriculture sector witnessed record foodgrains output of 257.44 million tonnes this year. (Reuters) The agriculture sector witnessed record foodgrains output of 257.44 million tonnes this year. (Reuters)
SummaryThe agriculture sector witnessed record foodgrains output of 257.44 million tonnes this year.

said.

This would also bring clarity on the price policy to be adopted for procurement of foodgrains from farmers.

The government has faced problems in fixing the support price of wheat this year as Agriculture Ministry and the advisory body CACP had different views.

But, there are no two opinions that the country needs to raise its agriculture production significantly, through the so-called second green revolution, to meet the rising domestic demand and ensure food security, experts said.

The Agriculture Secretary said the government plans to roll-out new schemes to achieve higher production and meet the targeted 4 per cent growth rate in the agriculture and allied sectors in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

The farm sector, which grew by only 3.3 per cent in the 11th Plan, and food processing industry needs huge public and private investment to boost productivity and cut post-harvest losses of crops.

However, there was no big policy announcement this year to boost public and private investment to strengthen resilience in these two sectors.

President Pranab Mukherjee warned that the agriculture sector should not be ignored even as its share in the country's GDP has dropped to about 15 per cent.

"I understand that the contribution of Agriculture to the country's GDP is declining and is lower than the services and industry sectors today.

"But I would exhort you to resist any temptation to be persuaded by some arguments to give only proportionate importance to this sector. Nothing could be more wrong," Mukherjee had said addressing the industry leaders at the fag end of the year.

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