The government will provide Rs25,000 crore in the
next four years to boost agricultural production, prime
minister Manmohan Singh said.
planning commission and the agriculture ministry will
finalise the details of this programme in the next two
months," he said at the concluding session of a meeting
of the National Development Council.
prime minister said the less than 2 per cent annual growth
in the agriculture sector since the mid-1990s was a cause
for concern and called for higher production of agricultural
products to check inflation and lift the economy''s sustainable
was important to address this if the broader economy was
to achieve 10 per cent growth by 2011-12, he said.
the prolonged slowdown in this sector is essential for
our goal of inclusive growth, for ensuring that growth
benefits all sections of society and all regions of the
country," he said.
rates of growth of agriculture in the last decade have
been poor and is a major cause of rural distress,"
he told a conference of senior government officials.
prime minister said India needed to boost production of
wheat, rice, pulses and edible oils to check inflation,
which jumped to a two-year high in January.
recent rise in prices of certain food products has been
the result of slow supply response to rising demand. This
has been particularly true of wheat, pulses and edible
oils," Singh said. "We have had to import many
of these products to ensure adequate availability of essential
food items," he added.
government, meanwhile, has prepared schemes to help raise
output of these food items within three years to keep
prices in check and ensure adequate supplies for the 1.1
food costs pushed the annual increase in wholesale prices
in late January to 6.7 per cent - a two-year high. They
eased to an eight-month low of 5.3 per cent in mid-May.
But the government wanted to bring the inflation rate
down to 4.0 to 4.5 per cent, finance minister P Chidambaram
told the meeting.
the point of view of sound macroeconomic management, it
is necessary that we maintain adequate supplies of food
articles and the resulting price stability," he said.
minister Sharad Pawar said India would need about 25 million
tonnes of additional food grains by the end of 2011-12.
Pawar blamed low productivity in agriculture to small
is increasingly becoming an unviable activity, particularly
because of nature of land holdings," he said.