States asked to promote high-value demanding crops

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) With India achieving self sufficiency in the production of foodgrain, particularly rice and wheat, the Centre has asked the states to promote diversification from cereal-centric cropping systems to high-value and low-water demanding crops like oilseeds, pulses and medicinal plants.

Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria told the Lok Sabha today that the country's foodgrain production had increased to 213.46 million tonnes during 2003-04 from 72.35 million tonnes during 1965-66 (pre-Green revolution period).

"India is now self sufficient in foodgrains, particularly rice and wheat," he said in reply to written questions.

He said the state governments have been advised to promote diversification from the existing cropping systems, giving special thrust to horticulture and floriculture and medicinal and aromatic plants, even while keeping in view the national food security.

UNI SH LR HT1420

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