Govt needs to spend more on farm technology: PM

Govt needs to spend more on farm technology: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan SinghGrowth in farm sector, which depends heavily on erratic monsoon rains, has lagged the rapid growth in the industrial and services sectors, which have gained from two decades of liberal reforms.

The Eleventh Five Year Plan, which began in 2007, aims to double annual agricultural growth to 4 precent, and the target was the government's top priority, the Prime Minister said.

"To achieve this we are sharply increasing public investment in agriculture. The most important area of investment in agriculture relates to water and its efficient use," he said.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 5th Asian Regional Conference of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage here, Singh said investment in agricultural technology should increase.

"We need to increase investments in agricultural technologies, particularly those related to improved crop practices," he told the conference.

This year, the worst monsoon in 37 years ravagedthe rice and cane crop, making the world's second-most populous country a big importer of sugar and helping New York raw sugar futures surge to the highest in nearly three decades.

The government is also considering rice imports to ensure the country has adequate grain stocks.

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