Spending on agriculture up 80 percent: Government


Chandigarh : The government has invested around Rs.250 billion this year in agriculture sector, 80 percent higher than the total agricultural spending last year, and is also encouraging enhanced private participation in the sector, a senior official said Friday.

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“This year the government’s investment in agriculture is 80 percent higher if we compare it with last year. It’s over Rs.25,000 crore (Rs.250 billion),” Agriculture Secretary T. Nanda Kumar, who is here to attend the Agro Tech-2008 fair, told reporters.

“Various food park schemes have been announced all over the country and we are targeting an overall growth of four percent in each segment related to agriculture here,” Nanda said.

The biennial four-day agro technology and business fair, ‘Agro Tech-2008’, opened here Friday with the theme ‘Enhancing Technology and Business in Agriculture’.

“Green revolution was a revolutionary development. Now we need to bring second green revolution, but that is not possible with traditional farming. Here private companies have to play a big role, and our farmers have to adopt new technologies and know-how,” Nanda said.

Nanda admitted that cotton and rice production per hectare in India is almost half of that in China.

“Over the last few years, gradually our yield has decreased due to our failure to adopt the changing trends. Nonetheless, with the present scenario and pace of development, I am sure that we will have record production,” he added.

The Agro Tech-2008 is spread over an area of 5,960 square metres with 204 stalls, and the authorities here are expecting over 15,000 farmers from states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to visit the event.