The agriculture ministry and other related departments have been directed by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to introduce reforms and a time-bound action plan to enhance production of food grains and even oilseeds and pulses.
Emphasising the need to usher in a second 'green revolution' – especially in the eastern part of India – the PMO has suggested specific measures to boost production, especially of oilseeds and pulses.
T K A Nair, principal secretary to the prime minister, held a review meeting of the farm sector, which was attended by half-a-dozen secretaries from various ministries. Nair told the agriculture ministry to come out with an action plan within a month to increase the production of oilseeds and pulses by adopting the cluster mechanism.
The PMO also asked the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) to develop over the next two years high-yielding pulses and oilseeds that can withstand high temperatures.
The agriculture ministry has been asked to identify 60,000 oilseeds and pulses clusters in villages across the country. Last year, India produced a record of 18.1 million tonnes of pulses and 31.1 million tonnes of oilseeds, but the country still faced a shortfall. The government wants the country to achieve self-sufficiency in oilseeds and pulses production by the end of the 12th five-year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17).
India has been importing almost three million tonnes of pulses annually and dependence on imported edible oil has also increased as oilseeds production has failed to meet the growing demand.