PM for state-specific agri plans, says sector hit by tech fatigue

New Delhi, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
Faced with the daunting tasks of reversing the deceleration in the farm sector, achieving the targeted 4% growth and ensuring food security, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday asked the states to pitch in and prepare state-specific agriculture plans. He said the National Development Council (NDC) would consider launching a food security mission for raising production of wheat, pulses and edible oil to contain the rising prices.

While assuring financial assistance for the initiatives, the Prime Minister also that the state specific plan taking into account local needs and resources should be at the core of any agricultural revamp strategy. They should build current baseline levels of production, yields and investments and must have clear, tangible targets in terms of increase in agricultural productivity, he said.

The Planning Commission will prepare an outline for a major programme for providing central support to states, which prepare such location specific plans. I believe a program of this nature can provide the critical breakthrough we have so far been looking for and enable states to integrate all the various disciplines in farming - including irrigationinto a common umbrella with a focus on specific outcomes targeted at bridging the yield gaps.

Quick Take

NDC will consider launching a food security mission to contain the rising prices
Planning Commission will prepare an outline for a major programme for providing support to states

On subsidies Singh said, We must reflect weather subsidies, though necessary, are being delivered in he best possible manner. Are input subsidies better delivered directly to farmers or by subsidising the inputs itself We need to question both the quantity and the manner in which the subsidies are delivered.

Agriculture being a state subject, Singh said most of the planning and implementation of strategies and programmes will be best done at the state level. Therefore state specific strategies should be prepared taking into account every states individual resources and capabilities and build on these for a strong and vibrant agriculture sector.