Emulate Gujarat`s agri success: Kalam to states

The high agricultural growth rate of over 9 per cent per annum in Gujarat, more than three times the national average, has attracted special praise from former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2010, 14:13 PM IST

New Delhi: The high agricultural growth rate
of over 9 per cent per annum in Gujarat, more than three times
the national average, has attracted special praise from former
president APJ Abdul Kalam, who said the example should be
emulated by other states.

"Recently, I was in IIM, Ahmedabad, where the specialists
from the Centre for Management (CMA) in Agriculture, presented to
me the reasons for high growth rate of agriculture GDP
attained by the state (Gujarat) during the past few years. I
am sure the experience could be useful to many other states,"
Kalam said at a prize distribution ceremony here last evening.

"They highlighted how the agriculture of the state has
been consistently growing over 9 per cent per annum, more than
three times the national average," the noted scientist said.

Kalam said the CMA experts attributed Gujarat`s success
story to rural electrification reforms, as exemplified by the
establishment of a dedicated grid for agricultural
applications, which has also helped reducing losses due to
pilferage of power.

In addition, the state has embarked on an integrated
water management scheme for irrigation purposes, which
involves the creation of more than 2.4 lakh farm ponds and
ensuring their sustainability through desilting and
recharging.

Furthermore, the Gujarat government has started an annual
Krishi Rath Yatra, which aims at educating farmers on seeds,
irrigation, crop patterns and technology. In 2010, the
month-long yatra travelled through through 26 districts of the
state.

"Of course, at all stages, with the increase in
agricultural produce, stability of the price was been managed
by opening export of agricultural produce," Kalam said.

The former president also pitched for a second Green
Revolution to meet the country`s growing food needs and asked
farm scientists to work alongside farmers for increasing the
nation`s agricultural output.

"India has to now embark upon a second Green Revolution,
which will enable it to further increase its productivity in
the agricultural sector. By 2020, India would require to
produce over 340 million tonnes of foodgrains in view of
population growth and increased purchasing power," he said.

"Farm scientists shall work hand-in-hand with the farmers
by developing farmer-friendly technologies to help them
multiply their agri-produce many times," Kalam added.

PTI