Govt targets record 270.1-mt food grains output this year
The country had last achieved a record output of 265.04 million tonnes (mt) in 2013-15.
However, the production in 2014-15 and 2015-16 fell to 252.02 mt and 253.23 mt, respectively, due to drought in more than ten states. For this year, the Met Department has forecast better than normal monsoon, the arrival of which in Kerala is expected to be delayed by a week.
“We have set an ambitious foodgrains production target at 270.10 mt for the 2016-17 crop year (July-June), which is much higher than the last year’s target of 264.10 mt and even the actual output of record 265.04 mt in 2013-14,” a senior Agriculture Ministry official said.
Higher target has been kept keeping in view the possibility of good monsoon and impact of several schemes like soil health card and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana, the official added. The agri crops are grown in the kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons of the crop year (July-June). The sowing of Kharif season normally begins with the onset of south west monsoon from June.
Harvesting begins from October. Among foodgrains category, the government is aiming record rice output of 108.50 mt, wheat at 96.50 mt, coarse cereals at 44.35 mt and pulses at 20.75 mt in 2016-17.
As per the third advance estimated of the Agriculture Ministry, rice production in 2015-16 is estimated to be down at 103.36 mt, wheat at 94.04 mt, coarse cereals 37.78 mt and pulses at 17.06 mt.
In case of cash crops, the government has not kept much bigger production targets for 2016-17 and is aiming sugarcane output of 355 mt, cotton at 36 million bales (170 kg) and jute/mesta at 11.70 million bales (of 180 kg). At present, farmers are preparing the fields to start sowing operations with the monsoon arrival.
The government has positioned good quality seeds, fertilisers and other farm inputs required for sowing of kharif crops.
Eyes Rs 25 trillion infra investments by 2019, to generate 4 crore jobs
Government expects investments worth Rs 25 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector by 2019 which will help generate 4 crore jobs, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said. “First two years were spent in correcting the legacy we had inherited of stalled projects. We could manage to award projects worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore only as most of our efforts were directed towards addressing roadblocks. The infrastructure space was one of the worst victims and things were at standstill. Yet, with our grit we bulldozed majority of the problems impeding growth. “We expect investments worth Rs 25 lakh crore in the sector in the next three years. We rolled out the majority of the 403 stuck projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore.
The developers who were shying away were brought back again and now the stage is set for an unprecedented work,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said in an interview. Gadkari further said the union Cabinet took as many as 21 major decisions pertaining to highways sector besides other policy initiatives. The Minister further said that with the massive projects that are lined up, the country will witness at least 4 crore direct and indirect jobs and a boost in GDP by up to 3 per cent by 2019.