Agri sector not affected by economic meltdown

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Chandigarh, Nov 28 (UNI) Union Agriculture Secretary T Nand Kumar today claimed that the agri sector was unaffected by the global economic meltdown.

''At the end of the current fiscal year, the agriculture growth rate is expected to cross four per cent,'' Mr Kumar said while inaugurating the Agro Tech 2008 fair here.

India is not dependent on other nations for its food security, he said adding that the country cannot sustain its agricultural growth rate only on the basis of traditional crops, wheat and paddy.

Mr Kumar called for promotion of other crops like oilseeds, horticulture, floriculture, besides allied trade like dairy farming and fisheries.

The Union Secretary appreciated the farmers of Haryana and Punjab for their contribution in stregthening the food security of the nation.

Mr Kumar pointed out that the Green Revolution was primarily due to quality seeds and fertilizers. The next Green Revolution will be achieved through better farming techniques and improving the market infrastructure including storage and promotion of food processing, he said while pointing out that the private sector will play an important role in pushing the agri sector forward.

He pointed out that as part of the National Food Security Mission, the government has earmarked a sum of Rs 25,000 crore for promoting wheat, pulses, oilseeds and paddy, under the National Agriculture Development Programme.

He said that under private-public participation, Food Parks are being set up to give an impetus to agriculture.

Punjab Food and Supplies Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon was also present on the occasion.

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