Plan panel working on project to boost value-added agriculture

Plan panel working on project to boost value-added agriculture

Secondary agriculture encompasses activities such as extracting medicines from herbs, vitamins from food grains, fibre boards from rice straw, oil from rice bran and so on.

"We are already working on an action plan to promote secondary agriculture in the 12th Plan period (2012-17). The assessment is in progress," Planning Commission Member K Kasturirangan said in his inaugural speech at a workshop to review the National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP).

Kasturirangan, who is heading the committee on the secondary agriculture, said, "A draft report is likely to be finalised in the next four-five months after deliberation with the concerned stakeholders."

Pointing out the need to tap the potential in the secondary agriculture, he said, "This sector was estimated worth over Rs 60,000 crore three years back and now I assess it could be more than Rs 100,000 crore."

"Promoting the secondary agriculture will push the country's overall farm growth in the coming years," he said, adding that there are plans to rope in the Food Processing Ministry to look into development of this sector.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of mid-term review of the World Bank-funded project National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP), he said, "Many projects get started but implementation of the same at a large scale for the benefit of many is a big concern."

NAIP aims at increasing farm productivity, commercialisation of agriculture and alleviation of rural poverty.

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