New Delhi, Dec 7 (UNI) The Government is committed to achieving an annual growth rate of 4 per cent in the agricultural sector during the Eleventh Plan, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told the Rajya Sabha today.
In a reply during Question Hour, Mr Pawar said, ''the National Development Council (NDC), in its 53rd meeting held on May 29, reaffirmed its commitment to achieve four per cent annual growth in the agriculture sector during the Eleventh Plan and resolved that agricultural development strategies must be reoriented to meet the needs of farmers.'' Mr Pawar said as per the date compiled by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the growth rate of agriculture and allied sectors, measured in terms of the GDP at constant 1999-2000 prices was zero per cent in 2004-05, six per cent in 2005-06 and 2.7 per cent in 2006-07.
''However, the average growth rate of the sector during the last two years has been 4.35 per cent,'' the Minister said.
He said the Government has recently embarked on several measures to improve growth in the agriculture sector which include launching the National Food Security mission with an outlay of Rs 4,882 crore during the Eleventh Plan period, launching the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and establishing the National Rainfed Area Authority.
''The National Food Security Mission aims to produce an additional 10 million tonnes of rice, 8 million tonnes of wheat and two million tonnes of pulses by the end of the Eleventh Plan. Also, the RKVY, with an outlay of Rs 25000 crore, aims at achieving 4 per cent annual growth in the Agricultural sector during the Eleventh Plan,'' Mr Pawar said.