'Country will become self-sufficient in oilseeds and pulses production in the coming years'
The Dollar Business Bureau
Radha Mohan Singh the Agriculture Minister, while addressing the 89th foundation day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) remarked that ' India will become self- sufficient in pulses and oilseeds production in the coming years with the government taking steps to boost yields through use of better quality seeds and technologies.'
India imports over 5 million tonnes of pulses and 14.5 million tons of vegetable oils(edible and non-edible) every year.
The minister said, that the government is focussed in not only increasing production but taking steps to make agriculture, income-centric as part of its target to double farmers' income by 2022. He asked the scientists to take up this mission and achieve the target and also ensure the overall development of agriculture and allied sectors that contribute 18% to the GDP. He also emphasised on skill development in the agricultural sector which is essential to boost crop yield and farm income.
Emphasising the need to achieve self-sufficiency in production of oilseeds and pulses he said,
"We achieved a record production of pulses in the 2016-17 crop year. The sowing area is also higher this year. We are progressing towards self-sufficiency. In next 2-3 years, we will become self-sufficient in pulses."
The country's pulses production increased to record 22.40 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June) against 16.35 million tonnes in the previous year. Oilseeds output rose by 29 per cent to 32.52 million tonnes last year.
The minister also appreciated the efforts of farmers and scientists for the record 274 million tonnes of foodgrain output in 2016-17. He said this has been possible due to the availability of technologies, quality seeds and related services to farmers.
Stating that agriculture scientists played a significant role in bringing green revolution, Singh said, ' since 1951, foodgrain production has increased five times, fish 14.3 times, milk 9.6 times and egg production 47.5 times. That apart, there has been three-fold jump in fruits and vegetables output from 1991-92, helping in achieving food and nutritional security.'
"Our scientists are engaged in the development of innovative areas of science and technology and they are appreciated at the international level for their work," he said, adding that scientists have played a role in furthering excellence in higher education.