‘In­dia will be Self-Suf­fi­cient in Pulses in Next Few Years’

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Mad­hvi.Sally@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Ru­ral In­dia will gain from strong growth in hor­ti­cul­ture, poul­try, dairies and fish­eries, in ad­di­tion to bumper farm pro­duc­tion that is es­ti­mated to hit a new record this crop year, agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Radha Mohan Singh said. The gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on mak­ing In­dia self-suf­fi­cient in food grains will en­sure that the coun­try does not im­port pulses in the years ahead, Singh told ET on Thurs­day, a day af­ter his min­istry fore­cast ma­jor crop out­put to reach nearly 272 mil­lion tonnes in the year through June 2017. The es­ti­mated pro­duc­tion is 2.6% more than the cur­rent record, achieved in 2013-14.

“Due to the con­certed ef­forts of sci­en­tists to get early-ma­tur­ing va­ri­eties of pulses and in­crease in mini- mum sup­port price, pulses pro­duc­tion is on the rise for the past two years. I am hope­ful that in the next few years the coun­try will be self-suf­fi­cient in pulses,” he said.

The min­is­ter is op­ti­mistic about the farm sec­tor. “The sec­ond ad­vance es­ti­mate fig­ure of ma­jor crop at 271.98 mil­lion tonnes has made me very con­fi­dent that the agri­cul­ture growth can fur­ther in­crease,” he said. “Fur­ther, (in) pro­duc- tion of milk, egg, fish­eries and hor­ti­cul­ture, things will be even bet­ter,” he added.

Agri­cul­ture growth re­mained slug­gish at1.2% in drought-hit fis­cal 201516. In the pre­vi­ous year, it was al­most flat. Mon­soon was 12-14% in deficit those years. Ramesh Chand, a mem­ber of the gov­ern­ment's premier think tank Niti Aayog, had ear­lier said that agri­cul­tural growth would touch 6% in 2016-17.

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