Pawar expresses ''helplessness'' on high food inflation

Kanpur, Jan 29 (PTI) Expressing his "helplessness" onhigh food inflation, Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawartoday said the farmers must get right value for their produceso that they are encouraged to increase production ofessential farm commodities to rein in price rise.

He, however, said that it was states'' responsibility toensure proper distribution of foodgrains to the people throughration shops while the centre is responsible for production,procurement and moving the produce to godowns.

Speaking on high inflation mainly due to soaringvegetables prices, Pawar said, on the one hand he has toanswer for escalating vegetable prices and on the other handfarmers are complaining of not getting adequate price.

"On the issue of high inflation, I am cornered by fellowParliamentarians and media in Delhi who ask when the prices ofvegetables will fall...on the other hand when I go to villagesfarmers complain that they are not getting adequate price fortheir produce.

"I get beating from both sides. Urban population isunhappy over rising prices while farmers in the villagescomplain for not getting adequate price," he said and posedquestion "you tell me what shall I do?"

Pawar was speaking at a function in Indian Institute ofPulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur.

The minister noted that if farmers would not get properprice than how their families will survive.

"Priority of our government is that the farmers shallget adequate price for their produce. For this the governmentis making efforts like providing cheaper farm loans," he said.

Pointing out that land is getting scare and populationis increasing fast, Pawar urged farm scientists to come upwith new variety of seeds and technology which will helpfarmers grow more on lesser area of land.

The Union Agriculture minister said it''s priority ofthe government to ensure increase in production, procure themat adequate price and than move it to godowns. From there itgoes to state governments which ferry them to ration shops.

"It''s duty of the state governments to ensure thatfoodgrains reach beneficiaries in a proper manner," he added.


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