State agriculture ministers conference concludes

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (UNI) The governemnt will take all the necessary steps to increase the productivity of different crops to bridge the yield gaps as per the national priorities, Minister for Agriculture, Sharad Pawar said today.

In a specially convened Conference of State Ministers of Agriculture/Agricultural Marketing which concluded today it has been resolved that necessary steps will be taken to maximise farm production, reform all agricultural markets address environmental concerns and take fiscal measures to support agriculture.

It has been decided that the states will take necessary action for preparation of District Level Action Plans for development of agriculture and allied sector and for enhancing their investment in the sector so that all states are entitled to access RKVY funding.

''District and State Agriculture Plans will be prepared with the involvement of PRIs,'' Mr Pawar said.

States will make efforts to adopt short duration high yielding hybrids of rice and other crops which are readily available to bridge the yield gaps.

Mr Pawar said special emphasis will be laid on enhancing production of oilseeds and pulses through inter-cropping and mixed cropping with other kharif crops.

The states will also concentrate on improving water use efficiency and encourage a watershed development approach.

Production of breeder, foundation and certified seeds will be increased through joint efforts by the Central and State seed producing organisations such as NSC, SFCI, and State Seeds Corporations.

The availability of fertilizers will be attended to on priority, both at the Central and State levels.

In view of steep increase in prices of fertilizers, States will take appropriate action to bring down the requirement of DAP as assessed by States by at least about 10 per cent without affecting production.

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