Sunday, July 17, 2011

PM calls for second green revolution to achieve self-sufficiency in food

New Delhi, July 16 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday emphasised that the country needs a second green revolution to further accelerate agricultural growth and achieve self-sufficiency in food.

Addressing the 83rd foundation day of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) here, Dr. Singh said: "We clearly need a second green revolution that is more broad-based, more inclusive and more sustainable; we need to produce more without depleting our natural resources any further, and we look towards our agricultural scientists for ushering this green revolution."

"We all look back proudly to our green revolution, which helped us overcome food shortages and banish the specter of starvation, or living from ship to mouth. But, today we find that the regions of the country which witnessed the green revolution are suffering from problems of environmental degradation," a PIB release quoted Dr. Singh, as saying.

"In many other regions of the country, particularly in eastern India, yields continue to be much lower than what is attainable. More generally, it should concern us that productivity in Indian agriculture has plateaued over the years," he added.

Emphasising that India currently spends about 0.6 per cent of its agricultural GDP on agricultural research and development, Dr. Singh said: "This needs to be enhanced at least 2 to 3 times by 2020, since a substantial portion of our agricultural growth would come through the application of new technologies and new knowledge to production processes."

"But spending more on research is not enough unless this improves the quality of human resources in all areas of agriculture," he added.

The Prime Minister further said the total demand for foodgrains of the country is projected to touch 281 MT by 2020-21.

"The inclusive strategies of development that we are pursuing should further increase the incomes of the poorer sections of our society. This will further increase demand for foodgrains but also fruits, vegetables and animal products. The total demand for foodgrains is projected to touch 280 million tonnes by the year 2020-21," he said

"Meeting this demand will necessitate a growth rate of nearly 2 per cent per annum in foodgrain production," he added. (ANI)


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