Indian PM to review farm sector progress in six states


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will tour six states from July 16 to make an on-the-spot assessment of the impact of various measures being taken by central and state governments to bail out the crisis-ridden farm sector.

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Singh will visit Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, where he would meet the respective state governments to ascertain the progress made in implementing the suggestions of National Development Council (NDC) at its meeting in May, official sources said.

The tour assumes importance in the backdrop of the UPA government's stress to achieve 4 per cent growth in the farm sector during the 11th Five-Year Plan from less than 2 per cent in the 10th Plan and its commitment to provide an additional Rs 25,000 crore for improving farm productivity during the next four years, sources said.

The Prime Minister would this month complete the farm sector review of the six states where farm sector suffers from significant yield gaps — the difference between what is produced and what can be produced with existing technologies.

"There are gaps between actual yields and yields that are technologically feasible. The yield increase potentials vary from 40 per cent to 100 per cent. Increased production in the next 3-4 years can only come from bridging this massive yield gap," Singh had said on May 29 while addressing the NDC meeting on agriculture.