New Delhi, (Agencies): The Planning Commission on Saturday said the annual agriculture growth target for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) would be set at 4 per cent like the previous two plans.

The Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, "During the current five year plan (2007-12) we are likely to achieve average farm growth of about 3.5 per cent, which would be little lower than targeted 4 per cent."

"The investment in farm research should be 2 per cent of agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) which ranges from 0.5-0.6 per cent at present," he said.

Ahluwalia also expressed concerns over relatively lower agriculture yields in India compared to the developed world. He pointed out that production could be increased only by reducing knowledge deficit.

The government expects the agriculture sector growth output during 2010-11 at over 6 per cent, which is the highest in the Eleventh Plan.

In the first year of the 11th Plan, the farm growth was recorded at 4.7 per cent, which slowed down to 1.6 per cent in 2008-09.

Besides, the annual average farm growth during the 10th Plan (2002-07) also missed the 4 per cent target, and grew instead at the rate of 2.13 per cent.