Record foodgrain output likely

CHANDIGARH NOV.10. Haryana is all set to achieve the highest-ever production of 37.56 lakh tonnes of foodgrains and 14 lakh bales of cotton during the

Kharif season. It has also set a target to produce about 95 lakh tonnes of foodgrains during Rabi 2003-2004. This was disclosed in a meeting of the State- Level Coordination Committee for Agricultural Production presided over by the Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, here today.

An official note said that the State had achieved the highest production of foodgrains--- 36.45 lakh tones--- during Kharif 2001.

The Chief Minister directed the heads of agriculture and allied departments to ensure adequate arrangements for timely supply of agricultural inputs to farmers during the ensuing Rabi season. He directed the State Power Utilities to ensure power to the agriculture sector by seven to eight per cent as compared to last year.

He further said that Rs.1, 300 crores would be disbursed as crop loan among farmers during the Rabi season as against Rs.1, 092.20 crores disbursed during the last Rabi season.

The Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Agriculture, K.S.Bhoria, said that a target had been fixed to bring an area of 24.45 lakh hectares under foodgrains during Rabi 2003-2004 as against 23.62 lakh hectares during Rabi 2002-2003. These foodgrains would include wheat, gram, barley and other Rabi pulses. Apart from this, 6.30 lakh hectares of area would be brought under oilseeds and 40,000 hectares under sunflower cultivation. A target had been fixed to produce 9.10 lakh tonnes of oil seeds and 60,000 tonnes of sunflower during Rabi 2003-2004.

Mr.Chautala directed the agriculture and horticulture departments to educate farmers to diversify their crops. As Haryana had become surplus in foodgrain production, especially in wheat and rice, there was a dire need to shift to other crops which would help in the judicious use of natural resources like water and soil and also increase the income of the farmers. He also stressed the need for integrated farming.

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