Radhan Monhan Singh seeks investment on storage and agri-market
NEW DELHI: Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh, addressing G-20 Agriculture Ministers meet at Istanbul Friday, stressed research on produce storage and handling protocols, scale up investment in agriculture linked industry and jointly develop a Centre of Excellence in post-harvest and market linked supply chain.
Singh highlighted India government’s effort to increase general and cold storage capacities and setting up of Integrated Value chains for increasing agricultural productivity, building infrastructure for agriculture, enhancing productivity and human capital in small holder agriculture and to curb food losses and wastages.
“India is of the view that technologies developed for minimizing food losses and wastages should be commensurate to the needs of Low Income Countries,” the minister said.
Agriculture and allied sectors in India account for 17.2% of the country’s GDP and 14% of overall exports. Almost half of the population of the country is dependent on agriculture as the prime source of its income and it is also a principal source of raw material for a large number of industries.
India, therefore, has to keep the momentum of growth of agriculture to achieve targeted growth of its economy and meeting the increasing and diverse demand of food.
“ We have made rapid strides in our agriculture sector, which is manifested by the fact that our food grain production has increased from 197 million tonnes in 2000-2001 to 266 million tonnes in 2014-15, which not only meets our domestic requirement but also contributes towards global food security,” said the union agriculture minister, adding, “We believe that this strategy to spur growth in the agriculture sector by way of increasing public investment and by creating a conducive atmosphere for enhanced private sector participation will yield positive results. We are encouraging provincial Governments to increase investment in agriculture and allied sectors taking into account agro-climatic conditions, natural resources issues and technology, and integrating livestock, poultry and fisheries while providing more autonomy and flexibility to the states in planning and execution of schemes”.