Sharad Pawar rules out bio-energy not at the cost of food security

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New Delhi, Oct 16 : Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said that India's stand that promotion of bio-energy should not be at the cost of food security.

Addressing at the World Food Day here, Pawar said 'Conversion of foodgrains and edible oil seeds for producing bio-fuel will create food security concerns, as is evident already.

Highlighting the need to prepare the country to tackle the adverse impact of climate change, Pawar called for higher investment in agriculture, especially in research, and making research products easily available to the farmers.

He said: 'What is needed is increasing investments in rural infrastructure and agricultural research and development and transferring new technology to farmers to enable them to cope with challenges of climate change."

"The use of frontier technologies in conjunction with sound conventional approaches and enhancing input use efficiency will go a long way in mitigating the effect of climatic change in the context of increasing foodgrains production and productivity. There is an urgent need to enhance investment in research and making research products easily available to the farmers," he added.

Pawar said that the country is confident to meet the challenges of food security.

"The emphasis being given to agriculture is giving good dividends, he said.

"We have had a record foodgrains production of over 231 million tonnes during 2007-08 with record rice and wheat production of more than 175 million tonnes. The procurement of foodgrains for public distribution system has touched 51 million metric tones," he added.

ANI

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