India's farm sector is at its best today, with the country set to produce a record 263.2 million tonnes of foodgrains in the current crop year, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said. Pawar also said he is "the happiest agriculture minister in the world" to see this "stupendous performance" in the sector and the ability of farmers to produce more. The previous record of 259.32 million tonnes was achieved in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June). "Agriculture in India today is at its best, with a record growth rate of 4.6% during the second quarter of last year.
This year, we are poised to produce all-time record 263.2 million tonnes of foodgrains," Pawar said today, addressing an event on agroforestry and the Krishi Karman award ceremony.Pawar said higher foodgrain production has given the government the confidence to roll out the ambitious National Food Security Act. "The foundation of this revolutionary act providing grains at just 10 to 15% of economic cost to 82 crore population is laid by none other than my farmers," Pawar said. Rice and wheat production has increased to record levels and the country has a sizable marketable surplus of these cereals. Production of pulses has improved to over 18 million tonnes, he added. The country's foodgrain production is expected to touch a record on the back of a good monsoon this crop year. However, Pawar said the ever-increasing human and livestock population will place greater demand on natural resources amid challenges of climate change and degradation of water and land.