The Centre on Thursday said it has aimed to increase the output of summer crops, barring rice, to 5 million tonnes this year by boosting the production of pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds.
On the sidelines of the National Conference on Agriculture Summer Campaign here, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said the government's announcement was part of its efforts to double farmers' income by 2022.
The target is in addition to the regular production of about 4.5-4.6 million tonnes of summer grown rice.
The summer crops are cultivated in the window period between Kharif and Rabi seasons.
Food grain production in the country was a record 284.83 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year.
Speaking at the conference, being held for the first time, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said the area for the summer grown crops could be increased from 45 lakh hectares to 70 lakh hectares this year.
"In order to double farmers' income by 2022, we will have to make the best management of our resources. It is an easy potential to increase summer (non-rice) crop output to 5 million tonnes," he said.
According to Agriculture Commissioner S.K. Malhotra, rice cultivation requires huge amount of water, which is not recommended in the summer season. Thus emphasis would be given on oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals in the states which have good irrigation facilities.
The government targets to almost double the areas for pulses, coarse cereals and oilseeds are 2.2 million hectares, 1.4 million hectares and 1.3 million hectares respectively.
Rupala also said that water management in the country was "a big issue" but there was a "huge scope" for improving irrigation facilities.
He asked state governments to focus on increasing coverage of micro irrigation in order to increase cultivation using less water.
The Minister expressed concerns over the lack of access to real-time data about agriculture land records and farm output among others.
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