India will have a all-time high foodgrain production of over 252 million tons in 2011-12 with a record output of wheat,rice and cotton,Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha,he said the record foodgrain production of 252.56 million tons would be higher than 235.88 million tons output in 2010-11.
“Production of wheat,rice and cotton have broken 60 year record,” he said.
Wheat production is expected to be a record 90.23 million tons against 84.27 million tons last year,while rice output is likely to be 103.41 million tons compared to 94.11 million tons in 2010-11.
Cotton production at 35.2 million bales (of 170 kg each) will be higher than 33.9 million bales last year.
Pawar said a committee of eminent industrialists like Mukesh Ambani,Jamshyd Godrej and M S Banga had given 15 recommendations including liberalising agri-procurement,streamlining norms for private investment in agriculture supply chain and revisiting Minimum Support Price (MSP) norms.
While it is argued that the involvement of private sector was expected to give fillip to the agri sector,he said the government is opposed to private companies taking land ownership for cultivation.
“It is endeavour of the government to protest ownership interest of farmers,” he said adding the government would not support suggestions like giving agriculture land on lease to private firms for cultivation of cash crops.
The committee of industrialists had also suggested linking agri-credit with crop insurance,increasing competition in rural banking,promoting R&D investments in high-yielding hybrids,promoting sustainable agricultural practices,leveraging and promoting technical innovations,conducting land reforms in a phased manner and setting up of agricultural parks.
According to the third advance estimate for 2011-12 (July – June crop year),released last month,rice production has been revised to a record 103.41 million tonne from 102.75 million tonne in the earlier estimate.
Wheat output,too,has been pegged higher at 90.23 million tonne,from 88.31 million tonne in the second advance estimates released in February this year.
To a query related with Bt Cotton,Pawar said though there was opposition to it in a certain section,the fact was that its use has led to increase in production.
“I pay attention to what farmers say. 96 per cent farmers have accepted the Bt Cotton,” he said.
On use of satellite to provide forecast to farmers,Pawar said work has started and arrangements are being made to provide information to farmers through radio and TV.
He also said global warming can have impact on wheat producing states like Punjab and Haryana,but in the past two years no impact has been noticed.