'Need out-of-box strategy to meet rising food demand in 2020'
The country need to adopt an 'out-of-box' strategy to enhance foodgrains production as domestic demand is estimated to reach 320 million tonnes by 2020, an Assocham study said.
New Delhi: The country need to adopt an 'out-of-box' strategy to enhance foodgrains production as domestic demand is estimated to reach 320 million tonnes by 2020, an Assocham study said.
In 2011-12, the country has produced a record 257.44 million tonnes of foodgrains.
"Having done very well in raising foodgrains production in the last decade, India will have to do 'out-of-box' and adopt a fresh strategy to ensure food security for its growing population in the next 10 years," Assocham said in its report.
With India's population likely to touch 140-145 crore by 2020, the country needs to constantly raise its foodgrains production and food security, it added.
Amid vagaries of monsoon, the report emphasised on strengthening irrigation facilities to enhance crop yields. At present, only 35 per cent of the country's farm land has irrigation facilities and the rest depends on monsoon rains.
"The productivity of irrigated land is almost double than the dry land. Besides, we can have at least double crop in a year on irrigated land whereas harvesting even a single crop would depend on the Rain God," the study said.
Assocham also stressed the need to strengthen monitoring of government schemes on irrigation and flood management.
It suggested that high-level panel should examine scientifically the inter-linking of rivers without any political bias. Inter-linking of rivers would enhance irrigation facilities.
The industry chamber felt the next revolution in the agriculture could be possible with increase in investment in irrigation sector, which has been neglected despite funds been earmarked.
Supporting the government's Food Bill, Assocham said, "In fact, finishing the poverty level should be the first priority".