Foodgrain production has declined, says minister

Foodgrain production has declined, says minister

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Thursday said foodgrain production had taken a hit in the 2014-15 fiscal in the State due to delayed south-west monsoon rains.

The monsoon rains started in August instead of in June. About 50 per cent of the crops were damaged due to the delay. And the overall rainfall deficit was 40 per cent in the kharif season. Besides, many parts of the State witnessed drought. All these factors have affected foodgrain production, he said during a debate on the 2015-16 budget proposals in the Assembly.

According to the Economic Survey report for the year 2014-15, the agriculture sector is projected to grow at 4.5 per cent against 9.4 per cent in 2013-14. The total foodgrain production is expected to be 130.10 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 against 133 lakh tonnes of the previous year. He said Karnataka had managed 4.5 per cent growth in the agriculture sector despite adverse climatic conditions. This is because of the many initiatives such as the Krishi Bhagya scheme taken by the government to improve the yield. The State had witnessed record food production in 2013-14 fiscal, he said.

Earlier, Basavaraja Rayareddy (Congress) said the government had to take the decline in foodgrain production seriously. Steps have to be taken to figure out the reasons for it, and corrective measures have to be taken. He said Chief Minister had maintained fiscal discipline despite a decline in revenue collection. The government’s borrowings in 2014-15 was within three per cent of the GSDP as stipulated in the Karnataka Fiscal Responsibility Act.

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