Indian agriculture has potential to grow at 5 pc: Ashok Gulati

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 14: Indian agriculture has the potential to grow at 5 per cent per annum, while the present growth rate varied from 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent per annum, noted agriculturist Dr Ashok Gulati today said.

"The Indian agriculture has the potential to grow at 5 per cent per annum in the present context against which the present growth rate varied from 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent per annum in real terms," Gulati said while addressing the Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) lecture series here.

While elaborating the link between agriculture growth and poverty reduction in national and international contexts, Gulati said higher growth rate in agriculture leads to faster rate of poverty reduction.

Comparing the nation's economy with a pyramid, he suggested putting agriculture sector at the base, manufacturing at the middle and service sector at the top. Such an approach, he maintained, would lead to sustainable development.

Though agriculture is a state subject, Central government needed to trigger and engineer the reform agenda in agriculture sector, he said.

Gulati cited the example of the impact of centrally engineered Green and White revolution on Indian economy and advocated for centrally sponsored active agenda for reform in this basic sector of the economy that cater to the food and nutrition security.

For Odisha, Gulati pointed out that frequent natural calamities and erratic rains are main factors responsible for slow agricultural growth rate in the state. He suggested to focus on infrastructural development like irrigation, rural roads, more power to agriculture sector and establishment of value chain for cereal and fruit-products in the state for achieving higher growth rate in agriculture.

The lecture series is being conducted in Odisha to update the state functionaries with the newly emerging ideas and best practices at the national and international levels in the matters of public policy and developmental administration.

Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Panchayati Raj minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, IT minister Pranab Prakash Das, Planning & Convergence minister Usha Devi, ST & SC Development Minister Lal Bihari Himirika and others attended the lecture.

PTI 

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