Agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal told ET that the country is once again set for a record food grains production.
“Our farmers have covered highest ever farm area and we expect to produce record grains this season also. Our pulses and oilseeds areas have also grown significantly, promising a bumper output. We will soon announce an action plan to become self sufficient in production of edible oil,” he said.
Planting in the current kharif season has surpassed the previous best of 107 million hectares achieved in 2016-17. With sowing still on, the area will further go up.
He said the government provided good variety of seeds, urea, fertilisers and timely support to farmers during the pandemic, which has helped farmers in the difficult period.
“Ever since the lockdown was announced, we kept working for the comfort of farmers, be it procurement of grains or providing inputs,” Agarwal said.
The government had opened up the agriculture sector only three days after the first lock down was announced on March 24.
“This gave confidence among farmers that government is with them. And that seed of confidence is showing results for agriculture sector, which is showing never-before growth,” said a senior agriculture minstry official on the condition of anonymity.
As per the latest data from agriculture ministry, the country received 8% more rainfall than normal since the onset of monsoon and water in 123 key reservoirs is 2% more from last year during this period.
“The overall acreage has gone up by 7.15% more from last year with 10% rise in rice area. The areas under pulses and oilseeds have also gone up by 4.6% and 13.04% respectively,” the official said.
The government has set a target of 149.92 million tonnes of food grain production in the current kharif season and 148.4 million tonnes in the rabi (winter sown) season, taking total food grains target to a record 298.3 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year.
According to the government’s third advance estimate, total food grains production in 2019-20 is likely to be 295.67 million tonnes, with kharif contributing 143.96 million tonnes.
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