Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Sunday said India will be in position to become self-sufficient in pulses and oilseeds in next few years thanks to introduction of seeds of better quality and various steps of the Narendra Modi government.
Addressing the 89th foundation day of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), he said the government had implemented various schemes including soil health card, agro-forestry, integrated farming, irrigation, which will not just help it in achieving the self-sufficiency in pulses and oilseeds but doubling farmers’ income as well.
“When we came to power, the nation witnessed drought for subsequent four seasons (two years), which happened for the first time since Independence. However, we have seen record production of food grains this year. We have introduced seeds of better quality, improves irrigation facilities.
“If we get same production yield in consistent manner, we will be self-sufficient in pulses and oil-seeds in next two-three years,” he said.
India’s edible oil imports have reached to the level of 63 per cent of the total consumption in 2015-16.
The government estimates show the total amount of edible oil available for consumption in 2015-16 (Oil year from November to October) was 23.45 million tonnes, of which 14.82 million tonnes was imported.
Similarly, about 5.88 million tonnes of pulses were imported in 2015-16 after the annual production slumped to 16.35 million tonnes.
As per the latest estimates by government, total oilseeds production in the country is estimated at record level of 32.52 million tonnes this year and the figure for pulses is estimated at 22.40 million tonnes.
Noting agriculture scientists played a significant role in the development of agriculture in the country by bringing Green Revolution and, subsequently, by development of research and technology, he said that there has been five times increase in foodgrain production in the country since 1951 while 14.3 times in fish production, 9.6 times in milk production, and 47.5 times increase in egg production.
He added in the horticulture sector, three times increase in fruits and vegetables production was recorded as compared to that in 1991-92.
About the ICAR, he said the council had started Green Revolution, which did not only help the country to come out of a food deficit but to achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains.
He also said 15 October will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas (Woman Farmers Day).