Agriculture panel calls for cheaper farm loans, higher support prices news
15 December 2010

The working group on agriculture production (WGAP) has suggested a 4 per cent interest ceiling on agriculture loans and fixing minimum support prices (MSP) 50 per cent above the actual cost of cultivation.

The group, headed by Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, submitted its report to the prime minister in New Delhi today.

A core group of central ministers and state chief ministers under the chairmanship of the prime minister, set up to decide on prices of essential commodities, constituted the group at its meeting on 8 April 2010. The other members of the group included chief ministers of Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal. 

The working group has made over 150 specific recommendations, some of which have already been implemented during the course of the current year.

The core group will discuss these in its second meeting on 28 December 2010.
Among others, the group wants the horizontal and vertical gaps in yields reduced by ascertaining these through specific studies and address them through appropriate interventions like timely sowing, balanced use of fertilisers and soil ameliorants, improving water use efficiency etc.

For extending the Green Revolution to Eastern India, the group has suggested an expansion of the area under boro (winter) rice by increasing cropping intensity, especially in the states of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal.

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Agriculture panel calls for cheaper farm loans, higher support prices