Centre initiating steps to avert food crisis: Union Minister

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Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, Jun 6 (UNI) The Centre is taking all steps to avert food crisis by storing buffer stock of rice and achieving optimum production on the farm front by adopting modern agricultural practices, Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said today.

Addressing the Kakinada division level Rythu Sadassu at Nadakuduru on the city outskirts, he said the food shortage problem had come up for discussion at the recent Asian Nations Defence Ministers Conference.

Citing the Centre's debt relief scheme to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore to farmers, he said many measures were initiated during the four years both for the welfare of the farmers and for increasing food production. The results were very much encouraging.

Besides initiating ryots-oriented welfare schemes, top priority was given to agricultural research, he said, and added since the 'Bondalu' paddy was found to be prone to pests, the agricultural scientists were asked to find out remedial measures.

Small Scale Industries Minister Gollapalli Suryarao claimed that contrary to previous TDP regime that refused to waive Rs 383 crore electricity bills of poor farmers, the present Government had waived Rs 1,200 crore of electricity dues, giving relief to 21,000 poor farmers.

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