New Delhi, Nov 4 : Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar said that impact of scant monsoon and flood will delay moderation of prices of food articles to the next Rabi season.
Pawar said that the growth of agriculture would hover around 1.5 percent this year. Ten lakh tonnes of wheat and five lakh tonnes of rice have been allocated for open market sale to moderate the prices, he added.
Pawar said that enough food grain stocks are available, including rice and wheat in the godowns to bridge the gap between demand and supply. Adding that over 248 lakh tons of food grains are available for the public distribution system (PDS), Pawar said the food subsidy has risen to 66,000 crore rupees.
The center has been maintaining that many states across the country are yet to tone up this system and it is high time that they take corrective action to strengthen the PDS.
On the increasing price of food articles, Pawar asserted that for providing better prices to farmers, the people would have to pay more. He also gave details of the revision in the MSP of food grains in the last six years.
Pawar added that there is a need to import raw sugar to meet demand. Sugar mill owners would be approached on the matter.
Adding that the government has launched a series of initiatives to increase agriculture productivity like introduction of Rashtriya Vikas Yojna, National Food Security Mission, availability of seeds and fertilizers and credit flow to farmers, Pawar said farmers that they would get remunerative prices for their produce.