Eastern India turns food surplus with record production of 103.2 million tonnes

The traditionally food-deficit eastern India has emerged a food-surplus region with a record food production of 103.2 million tonnes, an increase of 11.9 per cent from the previous year, against an national average increase of 2.2 per cent year-on-year.

Rice production in the region is estimated at 562.6 lakh tones, an increase of 19.8 per cent over last year against an all India increase of 7 per cent.

The record food production in the region owes to the ''bringing green revolution in eastern India (BGREI)'' programme launched at the prime minister's initiative in 2010-11.

The programme undertaken through an inter-ministerial task force has resulted in an impressive increase in production of food grains with the eastern region now turning a food surplus region.

The BGREI, a sub scheme of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVYJ), with an outlay of Rs400 crore operates in the eastern region, including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

The programme gained momentum in 2011-12 with the focus on rice and wheat only and strategic interventions relating to crop production, water harvesting and recycling, asset building and site specific activities needed for improving the agronomy-adopting cluster approach aimed at enhancing the productivity per unit area and the income of the farmers, an official release said on Friday.