iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Press Trust Of India
Bhubaneswar, January 11, 2011
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 in Bhubaneswar.

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 respectively.

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.