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Prof Sen calls for increase in agricultural growth to 4%

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Planning Commission member Prof Abhijit Sen today stressed the need for enhancing gross domestic product (GDP) in agriculture from the present level of two per cent to four per cent by making optimal use of all inputs -- fertilisers, seeds and water etc.

He lamented over the dismal growth in agriculture sector, though GDP has grown by six per cent and even sometime up to seven-eight per cent.

''Today, we are importing food grains whereas in the past, we were not only self-sufficient in foodgrains but were exporting also. We have to make an in-depth analysis for decline in agriculture growth,'' Prof Sen said here at a seminar on 'Accelerating Agriculture Production' organised by IFFCO Foundation, a trust formed by Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO).

He further added farmers need assurance that they will get remunerative prices for their produce. For the purpose, subsidy on fertilisers has to continue.

Providing employment to the rural masses in non-agriculture sector will ease pressure on agriculture work force.

Prof Sen expressed concern over rising debt in the agriculture sector.

''Do not discriminate between nutrients and differnt fertilisers as it creates imbalance in the use of fertilisers.'' Mr Sen said.

We have to cater to the needs of those farmers also who are not having irrigation facilities and are totally dependent on rains, he opined.

IFFCO Chairman Surinder Kumar Jakhar disclosed that the seminar has a special significance in the backdrop of declining growth in agriculture sector, import of wheat, non-availability of fertiliser at certain places, hardships being faced by the domestic fertiliser industry, absence of fresh investment in fertiliser sector etc.

He urged the government to expedite release of fertiliser subsidy to fertiliser manufacturers and demanded a clear-cut fertiliser policy.


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