Country Likely to Harvest Record 263.2 Million Tonne Foodgrains this year Biggest Ever Farm Exposition Inaugurated by President at Nagpur

Nagpur, February 09, 2014: The country is likely to achieve record 263.2 million tonne foodgrain production this year. This would be about 4 million tonne higher than the record of 259 million tonnes achieved two years ago.

This was announced by Union Agriculture and Food Processing Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar, while addressing the national agricultural exposition, Krishi Vasant, at Nagpur today.

Krishi Vasant, the biggest ever farm exposition so far, was inaugurated by President Shri Pranab Mukharji in a glittering ceremony this morning. The President lauded the 'new dimension and new direction' provided to Indian farming in the last ten years, which has seen the country achieving food security and becoming a top exporter of foodgrains. In this period, special initiatives taken for increasing foodgrain production in the eastern part of the country, production of pulses and oilseeds and provision of credit to farmers have resulted in second agricultural revolution in the country, he said.

Shri Sharad Pawar also informed that the country has now become the top exporter of rice and second top exporter of wheat and cotton. India also is the top producer of milk and horticultural crops.

Referring to the huge gathering of farmers present at Krishi Vasant, Shri Pawar said that special trains have been put into service to bring farmers to the event. The exhibits include farm machinery, new crop and animal varieties and breeds, advances in the sphere of farm research, and best practices for application of inputs such as fertilisers and seeds. An interesting aspect of the exhibition is stalls by 92 successful farmers. Shri Pawar called upon farmers to emulate these successful farmers to improve their own farm production and prosperity.

Shri S. Gopalakrishnan, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said at the auspicious event that India has now become a major international player in the agricultural sector. He suggested that the Auto and Manufacturing Industries must work in close association with farmers and their associations to yield more benefits by creating a good supply and logistics chain. He expressed gratitude and appreciated the efforts of the Central and the Maharashtra Government for taking such initiatives and creating a platform beneficial not only to the farmers but the industry stakeholders as well.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan, expressed the hope that the recent policy initiatives coupled with credit flow would lead to the country becoming a global superpower in the field of agriculture.

Governor of Maharashtra, Shri K. Sankaranarayanan, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Ajit Pawar, State Agriculture Minister, Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe -Patil, and agriculture ministers from other states were also present on the occasion.

Krishi Vasant is being organized by the Government of India and Government of Maharashtra along with CII, the strategic partner representing Indian industry. This event also coincides with the centenary celebrations of late Shri Vasantrao Naik, the longest-serving Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who steered agricultural development in the state during the green revolution era and also to highlight contribution of the vibrant state of Maharashtra in the growth of national economy.

Krishi Vasant also showcases the history of agricultural research accomplished in last the 100 years by ICAR.

Farmers' conferences and farmer-scientist interactions are being organized at special pavilion on various themes. As nearly five lakh farmers are expected to visit the event - including from other states - seminars, interaction sessions and information are being arranged in English, Marathi and Hindi.

Three hundred live demonstration plots of cereals, pulses, fodder, oilseeds, vegetables and cotton have also been put up. Best quality animals, poultry and fish are also on display in the exposition.