Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections

Search:



The Web

India Abroad




Newsletters
Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article
Home > Business > PTI > Report


Monsoon isn't a big factor anymore

BS corporate bureau in New Delhi | December 08, 2004 11:48 IST

Even though 60 per cent of the country's cultivable land was rain-fed, factors like increased rabi crop, better food security and increased productivity had reduced the impact of the monsoon on the economy, said Radha Singh, secretary, ministry of agriculture.

She was addressing a session on agriculture at the India Economic Summit 2004. "Even in the worst drought of the century in 2002, GDP and prices had both remained stable," she added.

But to mitigate the risks of a bad monsoon, the government is working along with the Indian Institutes of Technology to develop a better monsoon prediction model.

Singh emphasised that although the green revolution of the 1970s had brought food grain self sufficiency in the country, India now had to look at areas like horticulture, floriculture and animal husbandry to augment farm income.

According to her, the government was taking measures to promote such agricultural activities in 21 agri-zones, which had been identified as untapped.

"A model Agricultural Produce Marketing Commodities Act had been suggested to the states and more than half the states were committed to passing it within the next year. While 146 million tonnes of horticulture was currently being produced, the target was to achieve 300 million tonnes by the end of the Tenth Plan," said Singh.

She invited the private sector to consider ways to provide risk management coverage for farmers and to extensively use biotech applications in agriculture.

India & the World Economic Forum

"Food processing and value addition were essential to remove anomalies. The lack of cold chains and cold transport infrastructure was leading to 25-40 per cent wastage of food produce. This was driving up prices of products to end-users, while farm-gate prices were low," said Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice-chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprises.

He added the $3 billion agriculture adjustment fund was a welcome step or promoting diversification of agricultural produce.

ITC chairman YC Deveshwar said India could be the food bowl of the world if market forces on both the supply and demand sides were put in place.

Other speakers at the session, Chengal Reddy, co-chairman, Indian Farmers and Industry Alliance, and S Shandilya, chairman and CEO, Eicher group, emphasised that Indian farmers were capable of competing with the best if they had access to resources.

"In Bihar, large-scale organic crop production takes place despite recurring floods and animal husbandry is very productive in water scarce Rajasthan," Reddy said.


7333: The Latest News on Your Mobile!

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Share your comments


Advertisement






Copyright 2005 Rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.