Radha Mohan Singh Predicts India to be Self-Sufficient in Pulses in the Coming Years

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said India will gain from strong growth in horticulture, poultry, dairies and fisheries along with bumper from farm production that is estimated to hit a new record crop this year. The government’s focus on making India self-sufficient will make sure that there are no imports in the coming years. Recently, the ministry predicted the output to reach nearly 272 million tonnes in the year through June 2017. The estimated production is higher by 2.6 percent more than the current record that is achieved in 2013-14.

In the previous year, it was almost flat. Monsoon was 12-14 percent in deficit those years. Ramesh Chand, a member of the government's premier think tank Niti Aayog, had earlier said that agricultural growth would touch 6% in 2016-17. 

Agriculture accounts for 17% of India's economy and more than half the country's population depends on farms directly or indirectly. Healthy growth in agriculture is also good news for the fast moving consumer goods segment, which gets about a third of its sales from rural areas. The minister said during this rabi season, crop sowing had expanded 6 percent. Sowing of wheat grew 7 percent, while the increase in pulses was 11 percent and in oilseeds, it was 6 percent.

Government policies initiated in the past two years - from credit to farmers on affordable rates and assured supply of seeds and fertilisers to the Electronic National Agricultural Market and assured prices — will significantly reduce the risks that the farmer faces, the minister said. In the Budget for fiscal 2017-18, the government has increased the funds for rural, agriculture and allied sectors by 24 percent from a year earlier to INR 1,87,223 crore, he added.

By BOA Bureau