Govt sets foodgrain output target at record 301 mn tonnes for 2020-21

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar speaks in Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in New Delhi.

The government has set foodgrain production target at a record 301 million tonnes for the 2020-21 crop year, up nearly 1.5 per cent from the previous year's output, on the back of good monsoon rains and higher acreage in the kharif season.

The target for the 2020-21 crop year (July-June) was set at the National Conference for Rabi Campaign 2020, which was held on Monday to review the progress of the kharif (summer-sown) season and plan for the rabi crops.

Addressing the event, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar congratulated farmers and state governments for record foodgrain production of 296.65 million tonnes in the 2019-20 crop year.

"The conference set a target of 301 million tonnes of food grains production for 2020-21...," an official statement said.

Rice production target has been fixed at 119.6 million tonnes (MT) in 2020-21 as against 118.43 MT output in the last year.

The target of wheat output has been set at 108 MT as compared to 107.59 MT. Coarse cereals output target is almost flat at 47.80 MT as against 47.48 MT in the previous year.

Pulses production target has been is fixed at 25.60 MT, up from 23.15 MT output in 2019-20, while that of oilseeds was set at 37 MT as against the estimated output of 33.42 MT last year.

Tomar also complimented the farming community and states for higher sowing in the kharif season despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Kharif sowing during this year up to September 11 stood at 1,113 lakh hectares, which is 46 lakh hectares more than normal.

Tomar said the government is taking revolutionary steps to strengthen agriculture infrastructure and economic condition of the farmers.

Recently, the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme worth Rs 1 lakh crore for four years was launched for creating facilities for cold storage, warehouse, packaging, ripening and waxing plants by agri-entrepreneurs, farmers' association and local government agencies.

The minister further said that two bills relating to freedom of marketing for farmers have been passed in Parliament.

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Bill 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill 2020 will give a boost to farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities, he added.

Farmers will get freedom to sell their produce at different places.

The government will continue the practice of procurement at minimum support price (MSP) through the existing network, he added.

Tomar further said the government has set a target of covering 100 lakh hectares in five years under micro-irrigation.

A dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) of Rs 5,000 crore has been created with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for expanding coverage of micro-irrigation.

In the year 2019-20, about 11 lakh farmers have benefitted by the adoption of drip and sprinkler irrigation system. During the last five years, an area of 47.92 lakh hectare has been covered under micro-irrigation in the country, which includes 11.72 lakh hectares for the year 2019-20 which is a significant achievement, he said.

Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary were also present at the conference.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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