Unacceptably high food prices are a result of slow and below-target farm growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday.
Singh said the farm growth had been less than the targeted 4% and a “consequence in recent years has been unacceptable levels of food price inflation”. He said he expected the Twelfth Plan to contain all measures required to accelerate agricultural growth.
Speaking at a function to mark the foundation day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Singh said: “We clearly need a second Green Revolution that is broadbased, inclusive and sustainable; we need to produce more without depleting the natural resources any further, and we look towards our agricultural scientists for ushering this in,” Singh said.
“The total demand for foodgrains is projected to touch 280 million tonnes by 2020-21. Meeting this demand will necessitate a growth rate of nearly 2% per annum.
The enormity of the task is indicated by the fact that during the 10 year period 1997-98 to 2006-07, our foodgrain production grew at average annual rate of only 1%,” the PM said.