Millennium Post

Enough cereals but need to import oil, pulses: Centre to SC

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that though the country has become self sufficient in production of cereals, it is dependent on imports to bridge the gap between domestic production and demand of edible oil and pulses.

Responding to a PIL on increasing farmer suicides in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture said in an affidavit, "India has not only ensured self-sufficiency in most of the agricultural crops but has also built sufficient buffer stocks of wheat and rice and is also in a position to export to other countries."

"We are not self-sufficient in edible oil and pulses," the government conceded and added that it has initiated programmes such as National Food Security Mission, Accelerated Pulses Production Programme and National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm to increase production and productivity of pulses and oil seeds to bridge the gap of domestic requirements and minimize the need for their import.

In respect of all food items including processed ones, the country has "sufficient surpluses" and it is in a position to export them to other countries, it said, adding exports are on rise. The Centre also rubbished the view that agriculture was still dependent on monsoon and said that approximately 48 per cent of the land, used for food grains production in the country, is irrigated.
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