• The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, the agriculture sector is likely to achieve about 3.5 per cent annual growth in the 11th Five-Year Plan, but stressed on scaling it up to 4 per cent or more in the next Plan, 2012-2017.
  • Addressing the Golden Jubilee Convocation of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, IARI, in New Delhi, Dr Singh said, the government is committed to at least double the spending on research and development in the farm sector by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan from the existing level of about one per cent of gross domestic produce, GDP.
  • Dr. Manmohan Singh said, the agriculture sector remained sluggish during the 10th Plan period achieving merely 2.5 per cent expansion. He emphasised that a determined effort is needed by both Central and State governments to achieve the higher growth.
  • Stating that farm research is key element to achieve higher expansion, the Prime Minister said, the agricultural research system needs to be strengthened to meet the future challenges. He also said, the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to improve returns to farming and step up investment in rural infrastructure. Dr Singh said, over the last seven years, the government has engineered a shift in terms of trade in favour of agriculture by raising significantly, the support and procurement prices.
  • Dr Singh said, food production at the end of the 11th plan will exceed 250 million tonnes, an all time record. Stating that both land and water resources are limited, Dr Singh called for developing agricultural technology which can ensure high yield while commissioning on water and are also capable of withstanding water stress. The Prime Minister said, the National Agricultural Research System needs to be further strengthened to meet the challenges of the years ahead.
  • The Prime minister said, there is a need to deal with the threat of climate change. He said, climate change and rising demand for commercial energy are expected to have a significant impact on agriculture in the country.