Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
27-August-2012 18:51 IST
Focus on Raising Rice Production in Eastern India, Replacing Rice with Alternative Crops in Punjab – Haryana

Parliamentary Consultative Committee Attached to Agriculture Ministry Meets

The Government is attaching high priority to raising agricultural production and productivity in eastern India by harnessing the ample water resource available there and injecting new technologies.

‘Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India’, which was initiated in 2010-11 in seven States of the eastern region of the country - Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West |Bengal - had an allocation of Rs. 400 crore for the first two years. The outlay for this has been raised to Rs.1000 crore in the current financial year.

Addressing the Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to Agriculture Ministry today, Agriculture Minister Shri Sharad Pawar informed that due to various interventions the rice production in Bihar and Jharkhand had more than doubled last year over the previous year. Except for Odisha and Assam, which were affected by flood/drought, rice production has increased in all the States where this programme is being implemented. A record production of 55.3 million tonne of rice has been achieved by the eastern region out of total rice production of 104.32 million tonne during 2011-12.

A Committee under the Chairmanship of Agriculture Minister and comprising Chief Ministers of BGREI-implementing States has been constituted to boost the implementation of the programme, the Minister said.

Alternative cropping systems for Punjab, Haryana

The meeting also discussed sustainability issues relating to production of wheat and rice in Punjab and Haryana. These States, which are key contributors to the foodgrain basket of the country, are faced with depleting water tables and worsening soil health. The matter of introducing alternative crops such as pulses, oilseeds, fodder crops and horticultural crops has been discussed by Agriculture Minister with Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana. The Minister further informed that a meeting has been planned in the third week of September to consider various aspects relating to the proposed crop substitution. This will include suitability of different alternative crops and their impact of water and soil resources, cost of production, and marketing and processing of the alternative crops.