Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Friday said that after pulses and cereals, the government now plans to focus on increasing the production of oilseeds.
Addressing a national workshop on millets, the minister said that the government is taking steps to boost yields through use of better quality seeds and technology. Production and productivity in agricultural sector has increased during past four years of NDA rule at the Centre, compared to the UPA regime, he said.
“In last four years of the (Narendra) Modi government, the average foodgrain production has increased to 280 million tonnes in 2017-18 from the average foodgrain production of 255 million tonnes during 2010-2014 when the Congress-led UPA was in power,” he said.
The first two years of the BJP rule were marked by drought, but 2016-17 crop year saw a record production of 274 million tonnes of foodgrain. He said this was possible due to the availability of technology, quality seeds and related services to farmers. Lauding the efforts of Maharashtra in procuring a record amount of tur, he pointed out that after the UPA regime when the BJP first came to power, prices of tur were `200 per kg and the picture changed soon after.
Noted agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan has also written about the efforts of the government and has lauded these, he said. Giving an exhaustive review of agriculture from the days of independence, the minister said that the focus will now be on improving production of oilseeds. Since, this is the year of Millet in India, the government has also approached United Nations to declared 2018 as the Year of the Millet worldwide, he said.
A Centre of excellence will soon come up at the Rahuri Agricutlure University, he said.