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“Farmers will gain on at least two counts: significant reduction in post-harvest losses, and better prices. Consumers will gain from lower prices, greater choice, and higher quality,” Pawar said.

09 Oct 2012

NEW DELHI(Commodity Online): To maximise the crop production in the coming rabi season, full advantage will be taken of high moisture content in soil, says Agriculture and Food Processing Minister Shri Sharad Pawar. The agriculture sector of the country will deliver an average of 4% growth in the 12th Plan as compared to 3.3% in the current plan, he added.

Despite erratic monsoon this year there has been only marginal decline in the production of various crops as compared to last year, which was a year of record production. The achievement in the 11th Plan was better than that achieved during 9th Plan (2.5 per cent) and 10th Plan (2.4 per cent). In the 12th Plan India would be to consolidate the gains and gear up to enhance the growth rate to 4 per cent.

Steps will be taken to improve the required level of Gross Capital Formation in agriculture. Already, the GCF has shown an improvement from 13.1 per cent in 1999-2000 to 20.1 per cent in 2010-11 at 2004-2005 prices.

The Minister supported FDI in agriculture sector. Recognizing the need to step up investment in the agriculture sector, FDI is welcome for development of seed, post harvest management infrastructure and now in multi-brand retail trading (MBRT), subject to setting up the back-end infrastructure which should benefit all stakeholders across the entire value and supply chain.

“Farmers will gain on at least two counts: significant reduction in post-harvest losses, and better prices. Consumers will gain from lower prices, greater choice, and higher quality,” Pawar said.

A National Mission of Food Processing has been launched by the government to invigorate the food processing sector. This Mission comprises some of the ongoing schemes of the Ministry as well as adds new components, drawing upon the successes seen in schemes such as RKVY where states’ involvement and ownership have added vigour to planning and implementation of various schemes.

The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) which has come up on the outskirts of Delhi at Kundli, Sonepat, is designed and tasked to provide one stop solutions for the issues pertaining to food processing sector, including addressing capacity building needs. The Institute has been granted “Deemed University” status.


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