M A I N   N E W S

Must strive for doubling agri growth: PM
Rajeev Khanna/TNS

Pantnagar, June 19
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for doubling the agricultural growth rate of the nation.

Speaking at the 26th convocation of the Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology here today, the PM said the country must endeavor to raise the agricultural growth rate from around two per cent per annum to four per cent.

He was the chief guest at a function where an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was conferred on him by the Chancellor, Margaret Alva, who is also the Governor of Uttarakhand.

In a speech that exhorted the agricultural scientists to aim at ensuring food security for the growing population, the PM said: “Our agricultural production should increase at a rate fast enough to ensure food security for our growing population. The growth cannot be truly inclusive if it does not benefit our farmers; especially those who are small and marginal.”

“Investment in agricultural sector needs to increase and a larger area needs to be covered under irrigation. The agricultural markets should also be reformed and farmers must be provided remunerative prices for their produce and better quality seeds,” said the PM.

Manmohan Singh further pointed that sustained efforts are required to prevent degradation of land and water resources. He said farm yields would have to be pushed up, as scope for increasing the area under cultivation and under irrigation was rather limited.

The PM said in the past six years the government has given highest priority to agriculture and a number of centrally sponsored schemes have been started to increase investment and to tap unused potential for achieving higher productivity. He suggested that agriculture universities could help in planning strategy for the agriculture sector at district level, especially through the Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

“There is a widespread feeling that there has not been any really big breakthrough in agricultural technologies since the Green Revolution of the late 1960s. This is a real challenge to the ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) system, to our agricultural universities and our agricultural scientists,” said the PM.

He said that Indian commands 2.3 per cent of the world’s land area and four per cent of fresh water resources, but feeds 17 per cent of the world’s population. “This puts tremendous pressure on our resources and makes need for newer and better technologies even more critical,” he pointed out.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |