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India's food production high despite drought and floods: K.V. Thomas

February 8, 2011 - New Delhi

Highlighting the strength of the agriculture sector in India, Union Food Minister K.V. Thomas has said that the national food production was high despite drought and floods which have affected about 100 districts of the nation.

Briefing reporters on the sidelines of a meeting, Thomas maintained food production was going according to the expectations of the Central Government.

"100 districts in the country are under severe drought. There is flood in Orissa, 23 districts in Orissa are under flood...But even with these bad situations, our food production is high. It is better. I do not say it is slow because we are on the process. Everything would be as we have planned," said Thomas.

Stressing on the efforts being made to increase storage capacity for food grains, Thomas said the government had formulated a scheme for construction of an additional storage of 17 million tonnes through both public and private enterprises.

"One major challenge is the creation of 17 million additional tonnes capacity for the storage. What we need is 60 million tonnes capacity, and what we have is 43 million tonnes capacity. This additional 17 million has to be built within two years," said Thomas.

The Food Minister's comments have come soon after India's food inflation accelerated for the third straight week on rising prices of onions and petrol, putting pressure on headline inflation and reinforcing expectations of more monetary action this year to tame inflationary pressures.

India is beset by rising food and fuel prices, and the Central Government has come under increasing criticism for failing to control inflation, which has hit hundreds of millions of poor people.


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