HP to produce 9.15 lakh tonne foodgrains this year

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Shimla, May 29 (UNI) Foodgrain production in Himachal Pradesh is likely to touch a record 9.15 lakh tonne during this Kharif season, Agriculture Director J C Rana today said.

While maize production would touch 7.74 lakh tonne, paddy production was likey to 1.19 lakh tonne, besides 6,000 tonne oilseeds, 1.56 lakh tonne potato and 6.84 lakh tonne vegetables, he said here.

Mr Rana said an additional 4.69 lakh hectare area would be brought under Kharif crops.

The state government had provided inputs of 23,000 quintal improved seeds, 20,500 tonne fertilizers nutrients, 100 quintal bio-fertilizer, 95 tonne insecticides and 50,000 improved farm implements and machinery to the farmers of the state, he said.

He said in order to ensure quality of agricultural produce, 1,000 fertilizer samples, 150 insecticides samples and 600 seed samples would be drawn and tested.

In addition to this, 50,000 soil samples would be drawn so that farmers could make balanced use of fertilizers and select the suitable crops, he added.

The Agriculture Director stressed the need to increase foodgrain production for fulfilling the needs of increasing population of state since majority of the farmers were small and marginal and unable to get remunerative prices for their produce.

In view the possibilities of increasing the farmer's income through crop diversification, the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan Government for carrying out development study titled as 'Diversified Agriculture to enhance Farm Income'.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding this study, he said and added that the study has began in February 2007 and would be completed in two phases.

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