Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday the country needed another green revolution as the growing population created a huge imbalance between the demand and supply of food grains in the country.
This green revolution, he said, should find its roots in the states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam.
"The eastern Indian states have shown promise as there is tremendous room for agriculture growth. Our government has, therefore, diverted its focus on development of these states in terms of infrastructure, modern and scientific farming and an integrated approach towards overall development of people living in rural areas," Modi said in Jharkhand's Hazaribag district as he addressed the foundation-laying ceremony of the state's first Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
Though laden with India's 40% mineral reserves, Jharkhand remains poor with 55% of its children malnourished and scores of families unable to manage two meals a day.
The major reason behind the imbalance is the unscientific farming, lack of irrigation facilities and a dismal performance in other agriculture-related industries like poultry, dairy and fishery.
PM Modi asked farmers at the gathering to adopt scientific agricultural practices to ensure they obtained more food and money from their work.
The Prime Minister said the Centre has initiated steps to revive existing fertilizer plants in Gorakhpur (UP) and Sindri (Jharkhand), while several new plants will come up in other eastern states. He said the Centre has also envisaged the idea of laying a network of soil testing laboratories in rural areas across India so that local youth can get jobs.
"There are certain myths about irrigation among farmers. We need to train them on 'Per Drop More Crop' technology as water is a scarcity," the PM said.
On the spiralling prices of pulses, PM Modi clarified there was an acute shortage of indigenously grown pulses and hence the country was importing it in bulk.
The state government also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for a proposed Integrated Steel Plant in the state on the occasion.