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Import in small dozes, up supplies

business Updated: Mar 16, 2012 00:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

For a government that battled high food prices through much of 2011, the Survey flagged key reforms to keep supplies steady, including, the option of importing small quantities of food.

The Survey also sounded a note of caution. India is unlikely to meet its farm growth target of 4%, despite booming production levels, it said. For a high overall growth in Asia's third-largest economy, agriculture needs to grow a minimum 4%. Farm growth has been estimated to clock 3.2% during the current Five-Year Plan period, it said.

The Survey cited key "supply-side constraints", or bottlenecks from farm to markets, as a key reason for high food prices.

It also recommended "regular imports of agricultural commodities in relatively smaller quantities", suggesting that despite record production levels in staples and vegetables, frequent weather-related disruptions and rising consumption continue to make food articles expensive.

"Given the compositional shift in foodbasket of a common household and its impact on consumption demand, improved supply response is critical for ensuring price stability in food items."