Says country recorded high agricultural production last year
Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran has said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is committed to ensure food security in the country.
Inaugurating a four-day ‘Polika' Malabar Farm Fest here on Thursday, Mr. Ramachandran said the government would undertake all steps, including legislation, to guarantee food security in the country, especially in rural areas. ‘‘Food for all'' was the slogan of the UPA government, he said.
An exhibition of agricultural products was being organised jointly by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) and the Thalassery Social Service Society (TSSS).
The Minister said though the country recorded high agricultural production last year, more had to be done to safeguard food security in rural areas.
Godowns across the country overflowed with food grains, as the agriculture production last year was 233.88 million tonnes.
However, poorer levels of food security in rural areas were still a problem, the Minister said adding that 21.1 per cent of the rural population was estimated to have deficiency in food intake.
Mr. Ramachandran said conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes as a result of industrial or agricultural policies could not be dubbed insignificant. The UPA government would take all efforts to prevent reclamation of agricultural land for other uses, he said.
He said the country could not afford to defer agricultural activities. Thalassery Archbishop George Valiyamattam presided over the function.
K.C. Joseph, MLA, District Collector and ATMA chairman V.K. Balakrishnan, municipal chairperson M.C. Sreeja, Principal Agricultural Officer Ashok Kumar Thekkan and TSSS chairman Mani Melvettom were among those present at the inaugural function.
The organisers said the exhibition was aimed at promoting agriculture and creating awareness among the young generation.