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Record 252 mn tonne foodgrain produced in FY12

Production of wheat, rice and cotton have broken a 60-year record

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India will have a all-time high foodgrain production of over 252 million tonne in FY12 with a record output of wheat, rice and cotton, Agriculture Minister said today.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, he said the record foodgrain production of 252.56 million tonne would be higher than the 235.88 million tonne output in FY11.

"Production of wheat, rice and cotton have broken a 60-year record," he said.

Wheat production is expected to be a record 90.23 million tonne against 84.27 million tonne last year, while rice output is likely to be 103.41 million tonne compared to 94.11 million tonne in FY11.

Cotton production at 35.2 million bales (of 170 kg each) will be higher than 33.9 million bales last year.

Pawar said a committee of eminent industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Jamshyd Godrej and M S Banga had given 15 recommendations including liberalising agri-procurement, streamlining norms for private investment in agriculture supply chain and revisiting Minimum Support Price (MSP) norms.

While it is argued that the involvement of private sector was expected to give fillip to the agri sector, he said the government is opposed to private companies taking land ownership for cultivation.

"It is endeavour of the government to protest ownership interest of farmers," he said adding the government would not support suggestions like giving agriculture land on lease to private firms for cultivation of cash crops.

The committee of industrialists had also suggested linking agri-credit with crop insurance, increasing competition in rural banking, promoting R&D investments in high-yielding hybrids, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, leveraging and promoting technical innovations, conducting land reforms in a phased manner and setting up of agricultural parks.

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