New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh aims to achieve an annual farm growth of 12 percent in the current five year Plan (2012-17) on hopes of sufficient rains, timely supply of agri- inputs and interest-free credit, a state government official said on Thursday.

The agriculture sector in the state had grown on an average rate of around 10 per cent in the 11th Plan, he said.

"We target to achieve 12 percent annual growth rate in 12th Plan," Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Production Commissioner N N Upadhyay told reporters, here.

Noting the farm growth would depend on good spread of rains in the state, he said southwest monsoon has advanced in some parts of the state and this will help sowing.

He said around 10 lakh hectare has been covered under various crops in the ongoing kharif season in the state, which grows major crops like rice, wheat, soyabean and pulses.

Upadhyay, who was here to meet Central government officials, said a three-pronged strategy has been adopted to achieve the targeted 12 percent farm growth in the state.

He said steps are being taken to bring more area under cultivation by converting 8-10 percent fallow land.

To help farmers access easy credit, the official said the state government has announced farm loans at zero rate of interest to farmers and targets to disburse Rs 8,500 crore credit to farmers this year. Last year the interest rate on such loans was fixed at 1 percent.

Besides, measures are being taken to ensure adequate and timely supply of farm inputs like quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, he added.

(Agencies)

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