Food-security mission kicks off: Pawar

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New Delhi, Nov 1 (UNI) With the release of the first instalment of the Rs 4882.5 crore fund for eleventh plan for the current year, ground preparations are underway to implement the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) from the coming Rabi season (winter crops).

The NFSM aims at increasing the production of rice, wheat and pulses by 10, 8 and 2 million tonnes respectively in the next four years.

The Executive Committee of the Mission met in October to approve Annual Action Plans of the concerned States. Following it, ground level activities have been started for the winter cropping season.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar briefed the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of his ministry here today the Mission has been launched in 305 districts of 16 States , including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Guujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Those districts have been selected that have potential for high rise in productivity.

Mr Pawar said the strategy of NFSM was to bridge gaps in potential areas by introducing modern technologies and improved agronomic practices. This is the only way to meet the projected additional requirement of about 19 million tonnes of foodgrains by 2011-12, he said.

Emphasising that NFSM takes an integrated approach to farm production by involving stakeholders at District, State and national level and the panchayati raj instutions, the Minister expressed the hope that selected districts will take local initiatives to make the scheme a success. Each selected district has been allowed up to Rs.

2 crore for taking local initiatives, and awards have been planned at different levels to encourage better performance among the implementing agencies.

More than 5 lakh seed minikits of wheat have been dispatched to different States to distribute them to farmers, free of cost. For speedy availability of funds, non-treasury mode of fund transfer is being used; for proper coordination among Ministries, States and Agencies, Co-ordination Committees have been formed; implementation is being constantly monitored at Central, State and District levels.

The meeting was attended by Mr Kantilal Bhuria and Dr Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Ministers of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Dr P K Mishra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture&Cooperation. The members who attended the meeting include A Sai Prathap, Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Jai Parkash, P C Gaddigoudar, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, K Francis George, M Appadurai, K Dhanaraju, Alok Kumar Mehata and Ms Archana Nayak (Lok Sabha) Thennala G Balakrishna Pillai, Pyarelal Khandelwal and Prof MV Swaminathan (Rajya Sabha).

UNI

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