New Delhi: Although production of food grains is on the rise, tough times still lie ahead for pulses and oilseeds. As a result, dependence on imports of edible oil and pulses are expected to go up. The decline in the sowing area of both the prominent crops in current fiscal has led to a steep fall in their yield.

Releasing the second advance crop estimate on Friday, Agriculture Secretary P K Basu said, “Foodgrains production is expected to set a record 250.42 crore tonne in 2011-12 crop year as compared with 24.47 crore tonne last year.”

He added, “While a decline of 16 lakh tonne is foreseen in coarse cereals, oilseeds production is also set to decline by 19 lakh tonne. Moreover, the production of pulses is also expected to fall by more than 10 lakh tonne.”

Emphasis was being laid on boosting the production of pulses and oilseeds by launching second Green Revolution and efforts were being laid to raise their yield by running mission for increasing pulse and oilseeds production. Also, initiatives were taken up to increase the existing production by use of technology and good quality seeds under the National Agriculture Development Policy.

However, the production of wheat and rice surpassed the expected mark but farmers seem to have backtracked from raising oilseeds and pulses. While 25-30 lakh tonne of pulses are imported every year to meet the required demand, 50 percent of the total demand of oilseeds is fulfilled by imports.

Agriculture Secretary added, “Both rice and wheat production is expected to set up new records of 88.31 metric tonne and 102.75 metric tonne respectively in 2011-12 crop year which is much more than the previous year. It is to be noted, there has been surplus production of 1.3 metric tonne of rice in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.”

Basu said, the central government had started several policies in 2010-11 under second Green Revolution in seven eastern states. The Centre has issued funds of Rs 332.87 crore for development of agricultural technology and science.

JPN/ Bureau