‘India likely to face foodgrain shortage by 2020’

ICAR has warned India may face acute shortage of food grains by 2020, if it does not take immediate and concrete measures.

Updated: Jan 10, 2011, 23:47 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: India is likely to face acute shortage of food grains by 2020, if it does not take immediate and concrete measures, warns the Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR).

"India needs to prepare itself in advance as foodgrain
scarcity is likely by 2020," said Swapan K Dutta, the deputy
director general (DDG) of ICAR, at the India International
Crop Summit, 2011 here.

Though the country in 2009 produced 100 million tons
of rice, it would require about 130 MT of rice in 2020 while
requirement of wheat would reach 110 MT in 2020 against
production of only 80 MT in 2009, he said.

The country would also face acute shortage of pulses
and oil seeds in 2020, Dutta said adding the demand for pulses
and oil seeds would increase by 140 per cent and 243 per cent

While there was demand for more food grains by 2020,
rice yields could fall by 15 per cent to 42 per cent, wheat by
34 per cent due to possible drought, salinity and submergence,
an ICAR report said adding net agriculture revenue would
decline by 12.3 per cent if temperature changes by 2 degree
Celsius and rainfall by just 7 per cent.

As such, the country was not self-sufficient in
production of pulses and oil seeds even today. Therefore,
Dutta said, India needed to pass Seed Bill, which was likely
to be tabled in Parliament in next session.

The draft Bill had been finalised with provision of
compulsory registration of all varieties of seeds, level
playing field for all stake holders, operationalisation of
seed certification, deregulation, consideration of GM seeds
and establishment of National Seed Board.