Food security council approves Rs2,100-crore scheme for oilseeds, pulses

The general council of the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), which met in New Delhi on Wednesday, approved Rs2,100 crore for a focused scheme for increasing production of oilseeds and pulses in 2014-15.

The council, which met under the chairmanship of agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, also approved taking up pulses under NFSM programme in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

The council also approved taking up demonstrations of inter-cropping of food grains with oilseeds, which was not part of the mission activities till now. This has been done to put focus on increasing production of oilseeds.

The general council reviewed the performance of NFSM in 2013-14. Four states, ie, Maharashtra, UP, Bihar and Tamil Nadu made presentation on their performance in NFSM.

The director of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) made a presentation on the prospects of cultivation of hybrid rice in India and its role in increasing rice production.

The agriculture minister directed that the feasibility of taking up production of seeds of hybrid varieties in different rice growing states may be explored. The minister also emphasised the need for taking up more demonstrations of improved technologies in pulses production in rainfed areas in different parts of the country.

The minister stressed upon the need to take up soil testing and providing soil health cards to individual farmers, especially small and marginal farmers.

This will help farmers in making informed decisions on inputs to be applied, resulting in better productivity and cost effectiveness.