NEW DELHI, Jan 15 – Assam is heading for a turnaround in agriculture production, with the State being awarded with Krishi Karman Awards for the second consecutive year for surpassing national average in pulses production.
President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday presented the Krishi Karman Awards to eight States including Assam for their achievements in food grains production in 2011-12. Ten States were given commendation awards.
Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland received the awards for special contribution to total food-grains production. Bihar received the award for contribution to production and productivity of rice, Haryana for wheat, Jharkhand for pulses and Uttar Pradesh for coarse cereals. Punjab, Uttarakhand, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh received commendation awards.
The awards were received by Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Manipur and Agriculture Ministers, Agriculture Secretaries of other States.
State Agriculture Minister, Nilomoni Sen Deka and Principal Secretary VK Pipersenia received the Award on behalf of the State. The Award carried a citation and a cash of Rs 25 lakh.
Talking to this newspaper after receiving the Award, the State Agriculture Minister attributed the record performance to new initiatives taken by his Ministry.
Assam’s agriculture production growth rate has touched 6.62 per cent, which is more than the national average of 4.62 per cent in 2011-2012. The State has achieved a record growth in production of paddy, mustard and pulses despite suffering three waves of floods.
“We are targeting a growth rate of 8 per cent this fiscal,” Nilamoni Sen Deka said.
The high growth rate can be attributed to the new initiatives and system adopted by the State Government. “We are planning to go in for organic farming in a big way soon. We have also started using hybrid seeds,” Deka said.
For the first time one female and one male farmer from the eight awards winning States were also given awards for their outstanding performance.
Meanwhile, addressing the function, Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar said there were two significant developments in production of food grains in the country in 2011-12. There is broadening of the food production basket, with as many as 18 States qualifying for awards with record production in the year.
Second, there is a definite shift in production base with inclusion of hitherto low-productivity States like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Nagaland in the award winners’ list ahead of many better-known names in food grains production.