'India needs to boost food grain production'

India needs to add seven to eight million tonnes of food grain every year to meet the needs of its burgeoning population, Dr Gurubachan Singh, chairperson of Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board, has said.

“The country produced 245 million tonnes of food grains in 2010-11 and the production was 257 million tonnes in the fiscal 2011-12. This is a good increase but needs to be sustained,” Dr Singh said here on Friday.

He was speaking at the Founders Day of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in the City.Lauding the UAS for its achievements over the years, Dr Singh reminded the agricultural scientists and the students that they need to look at crops which consume less water to ensure food security and secure livelihood for farmers.

 “Already, Karnataka and Bangalore are witnessing a serious climate change anda  shortfall in rain. Agriculturists and agronomists must look at cultivating non water-intensive crops which can grow anywhere in the dry lands. For example, cactus, which is a good nutritious food,” he said.

He noted that with changing times, the problems related to agriculture were becoming more complex and that there was a need to introduce integrated farming technology to provide livelihood security. Eight agricultural scientists were honoured on the occasion.

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