New Delhi: The special agricultural scheme for Eastern region based on initiative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has resulted in an impressive increase in production of foodgrains with the area now turning into a food surplus region.
"Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India" (BGREI), a sub-scheme of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVYJ), was launched in 2010-11 with an outlay of Rs 400 crore.
The programme based on the Inter-Ministerial Task Force is functional in the eastern region including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The scheme gained momentum in 2011-12 with the focus on rice and wheat and strategic interventions relating to crop production, water harvesting and recycling, asset building and site specific activities needed for improving the agronomy-adopting cluster approach, a PMO release said.
It aimed at enhancing the productivity per unit area and the income of the farmers.
Hitherto known as food deficit area, the Eastern region with the help of the programme has now turned into food surplus area, the release added.
Rice production from the region is estimated at 56.26 million tonnes, an increase of 19.8 per cent over last year against an all India increase of 7 per cent.
Foodgrain production from the region is estimated at 1,032 tonnes, an increase of 11.9 per cent against an all India average increase of 2.2 per cent.
The increased productivity/ production was optimized due to resource allocation and utilisation, it said.
The significant increase in production of foodgrains in the region not only offset the decline in production in central and peninsular India but also contributed significantly to the highest ever production of foodgrains.
The growth in foodgrains i.e. rice and wheat, provides an opportunity to procure and create foodgrain reserves, thereby locally reducing the pressure on Punjab and Haryana, and cutting costs on transport and other logistics, it said.
The focus will now be to consolidate the gains with continued emphasis during the 12th Plan, the release said.
Further steps will be taken to improve the infrastructure for procurement and storage of the produce in the region and to ensure a reasonable price for the farmers, it added.