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Bumper crop this year: Pawar

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Friday said India will have a bumper crop this year and hoped food inflation would decline further in coming weeks....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: July 10, 2010 4:02:49 am

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Friday said India will have a bumper crop this year and hoped food inflation would decline further in coming weeks.

“The way sowing operation is going on… and there are reports of good monsoon from states,we are likely to have a bumper crop this year,” Pawar said on the sidelines of a sugar industry conference in Delhi.

Pawar said floods in Punjab and Haryana,states that produce much of the country’s foodgrain,won’t affect overall crop production much. “There is a problem,but in limited areas. I don’t think the situation is that serious,” he said.

Sowing is still in early stages,but data collected by the Agriculture Ministry suggests sowing of major crops — paddy,oilseeds,sugarcane and cotton — is progressing better than last year,when the country faced a drought.

As on July 1,paddy was sown in about 46.46 lakh hectares against last year’s 45.43 lakh hectares. Oilseeds have been sown in about 28.86 lakh hectares as against 12.96 lakh hectares last year. Sugarcane sowing is up from 41.79 lakh hectares last year to 47.37 lakh hectares.

Expectation of a good crop will help bring down inflation,Pawar said. “Food inflation will continue to come down in coming weeks,” he said.

Pawar hinted he was for decontrolling of the sugar industry,but said any forward movement would depend on sugar output in the next crop year.

“Based on the assessment (of sugarcane output in the next season starting October),we will take a final decision (on decontrolling)… this is the only industry which is under too much government control. Time has come to give it a second thought… we have to withdraw government controls and give full freedom to those who are managing the industry.”

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