PM promises help to states for improving agri production
New Delhi: Flagging the challenge of raising foodgrain production, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today promised all assistance to states for improving agricultural growth.
"It's a challenging job to increase production of foodgrains and other crops for the growing population of the country, especially, because agriculture is still dependent on monsoon in large parts of the country," he said, addressing a gathering of farmers, who arrived here as part of a nationwide tour from Banaskantha in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister's comments come a day after the landmark Food Security Bill, aimed at giving a legal right on subsidised foodgrains to 67 per cent of population, got the President's nod.
Singh said, "Farmers are facing problems like availability of land, water and labour due to the increased demand in other fields of the economy".
Listing out the measures taken by the Centre to improve the condition of farmers, he said there has been "continuous growth" in production of foodgrains, fruits and vegetables in last five years due to the efforts of the UPA government.
Hailing the farmers for achieving record increase in production and export despite tough conditions, he said, "Our Parliament has given its nod for the Food Security Bill recently" on the basis of their hard work and commitment.
He said government's efforts have been to ensure that farmers get electricity, loan, water and fertilisers more easily while the purchase price (maximum support price) of various produces in the last five to six years has "almost doubled".
"I am fully confident that if required facilities are provided to our farmer brothers and sisters, we can face any other country as far as agriculture development is concerned…
"We have fixed a target of achieving four per cent agriculture growth in the 12th five year plan. The primary responsibility for it lies with state governments, but we will keep providing full assistance to them," Singh said.