Govt presents report on farm sector ahead of Survey

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 13 2012, 10:33am hrs
The government has tabled the status report on agriculture sector in the Lok Sabha. This assumes significance as going by the earlier trend the government had a specific chapter dedicated to the sector in the Economic Survey.

The status report gives a comprehensive picture of the issues associated with the sector, besides laying out statistics on various crops, production trends, yield and procurement of grain by the Food Corporation of India and state agencies.

The report also includes agricultural credit scenario besides identifying challenging areas such as agricultural marketing, where reforms initiated by state governments have been rather slow.

The report is expected to be presented in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The report gives a comprehensive analysis about the contribution of agriculture sector to the Indian economy as well as ensuring self-sufficiency in the key grain production, an agricultural ministry official said.

The report also gives suggestions on how to improve the agricultural marketing infrastructure across states for better price realisation by the farmers. The report comes at a time when the government is facing criticism for its inability to control prices of key agricultural commodities, particularly fruits and vegetables.

While the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at only 6.1% for the quarter ending December 31, signalling a slowdown in the overall economic activity, the agriculture sector saw a sharp decline at 2.7%, down from 11% reported in the same period last year.

A key area of concern for the government regarding the growth of the sector is a significant jump in prices of fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, poultry and fish. Removal of production and distribution bottlenecks for these items will be the focus of my attention this year, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the last time he presented the Budget.