Intl paddy meet in Chennai amid fears of low production

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Chennai, Jan 19 (UNI) 'Rice Tech-Grain Tech 2008,' the eighth International exhibition and conference organised by the Paddy Processing Research Centre (PPRC) will be held here from January 25 to 27.

Talking to reporters here today, Federation of All India Rice Millers Association President Thulasingam and PPRD Director K Singara Vadivel said the conference was being held in the backdrop of the country falling short by five million tonnes in rice production last year.

Mr Thulasingam said out of the total food grain production of 184 million tonne, the rice production stood at 80 million tonne.

''But last year, there was a shortfall of five million tonnes, which is a cause of concern in the context of the rice requirement expected to touch 128 million tonnes by 2012 due to increase in population,'' he added.

Authorities both in the state and the Centre should take it as a warning and take three-dimensional steps to improve productivity and meet the projected demand.

Stating that subsidy to agriculture was about Rs 70,000 crore as against Rs 10 lakh crore in European countries, he said the Centre should increase the subsidy, especially in the context of agriculture forming the backbone of economy.

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