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Indian Foodgrain Essential for Aquaculture Growth

INDIA - Agriculture and Food Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar today exhorted agricultural scientists to work for doubling agricultural productivity to meet the growing demand for food and feed.

This would require reducing post-harvesting losses, tackling environmental issues, enhancing production of foodgrains, specially pulses oilseeds, and harnessing potential in dairy and fisheries sectors, he said.

Addressing scientists at the foundation day of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), Shri Pawar said: "I see a great potential in dairy and fisheries that are upcoming sectors, with demonstrated annual average growth rates of 3.4 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively, the latter particularly in inland aquaculture.

"A characteristic feature of the produce from these, along with horticulture is the perishability, for which extensive cold chain and warehousing infrastructure is essential. We need to augment warehousing facilities for additional foodgrains as well."

He went on to say that there is an unprecedented degradation of land and groundwater resources, further compounded by deteriorating soil health in most parts of the country. There is also a deceleration in the rate of growth of total factor productivity.

He said, this trend needs to be reversed and agricultural productivity must be almost doubled to meet the growing demand for food and feed. It is a matter of concern that losses due to inadequate post-harvesting handling are enormous. The storage, transportation, processing, value addition and marketing of farm produce need to be improved to enhance household food, nutritional and livelihood security.

the Fish Site Editor

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