India set for record foodgrain production

India is set to exceed the target for foodgrains production with a record harvest  of 250 million tonnes,  prime minister Manmohan Singh said today, at a workshop at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The prime minister said, ''We have been able to channel nearly 4.75 lakh crore rupees of bank credit into agriculture and allied sectors."

He said minimum support prices for key agricultural commodities have been significantly enhanced. "Indeed they have been enhanced as never before. We have increased public investment in agriculture and with the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana given states a strong incentive to increase their involvement and their investment in agriculture. Consequently, allocation for agriculture & allied sectors as a proportion of state plan expenditure has gone up from 4.88 per cent in 2006-07 to 6.04 per cent in 2010-11.''

Saying agricultural policies have yielded positive result, Dr Singh said, "Gross capital formation in agriculture and allied sectors has increased from 13.1 per cent of GDP in agriculture in 2004-05 to 20.1 per cent in 2010-11. Agriculture and allied sectors have grown at an estimated rate of 3.5 per cent during the Eleventh Plan compared to the growth rates of 2.4 per ent and 2.5 per cent during Tenth and Ninth Plans respectively.''

He said the country's farmers had done India proud again this year, but there was still a long way to go. He added Inia could not afford to be complacent since the demand for horticulture and animal products was incresing very rapidly and this would require some shift of area away from foodgrains.

The workshop formed a part of president Pratibha Patil's initiative for enhancing farm productivity, especially in rainfed areas. A committee of governors constituted by the president had already met twice.