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Green Revolution for NE, to ensure food security; no constraints of funds
Guwahati, Oct 1 (AGENCIES/PTI):
Published on 2 Oct. 2010 1:07 AM IST
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Centre has decided to extend the second Green Revolution to eastern and Northeast (NE) for ensuring the nation’s food security, Union Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said here Friday. NE could act as a catalyst towards ushering in a second green revolution in the country, Pawar said at the two-day conference ‘Agriculture: Strategies, Policies and Practices for North East’.
“In the ‘60s and ‘70s India had first Green Revolution. It was essentially in Punjab, Haryana, western UP and parts of Andhra Pradesh. This time the government has decided to concentrate on other states, including eastern region, with an area specific approach,” he told reporters here. “The North East is endowed with enormous potential in the agri-horti and other allied sectors. These have to be tapped to the optimum level to step up production in a big way to ensure food security,” he said.
“`350 crore was provided this year as additional financial support for West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, and the N-E states,” Pawar said.“We have taken the initiative in consultation with the state governments of the region to make tailor-made plans to suit specific requirements of each state, keeping in view the distinct physiography, topography, climatic and soil conditions of each state in the region,” he said.
“Funds are no constraints. What we want is proper utilisation of funds and timely submission of utilization certificates,” he said.
However the ability to absorb these funds, and more importantly, leverage them for multiplier effects is the challenge that we all need to address,” said Pawar. “I am aware that the reach of credit co-ops, rural banks and agricultural insurance is not very extensive in this region- and we have to work together to look at innovative products and processes, but there are still many things that can be achieved if we work together,” he added.
“We now need to look at each of the regions to understand how farming systems and farmers incomes can keep pace with the growing expectations of farmers. We are also in the process of formulating our strategy for the next Five Year Plan, and therefore this interaction is extremely relevant and meaningful,” said Pawar.
“A few months ago, I had a meeting with the CMs and Ministers of the eastern region to discuss the strategy for the Second Green Revolution in the eastern region. These interactions help all of us to develop a clear vision and agenda for action. We have also requested the DoNER (Department of North East Region) and the Rural Development Department to be our partners in this process because all of us have to work together to ensure that there is convergence of ideas, funds and expected outcomes,” he added.
Pawar said his ministry was keen to ensure food security in the Northeast to improve the quality of life of its farming community and assured adequate funds. An additional `300 crore had been allotted for the creation of rural godowns in every NE state.
It has given much emphasis on improving marketing infrastructure in the region and has earmarked `380 crore for the purpose.
He said, the ministry would meet every six months to assess the agriculture scenario in the region, initiate corrective steps and to step up production in a big way.
Pawar underscored the need to wean away the farming community in the hills from traditional jhum cultivation and persuade them to adopt practices that cause no harm to the soil and environment.

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