New Delhi.India achieved record foodgrains production this year but the
withdrawal of three agri-reform laws and spike in cooking oil prices cast a
shadow on the country’s resilient agriculture sector that is on course for
better harvest in 2022 despite pandemic blues.
While soaring production of foodgrains that also helped the government provide free additional rations for COVID-hit poor families for many months together came as a relief, the passing year will be remembered for the long drawn farmers’ protest at Delhi borders against the three laws and subsequent repeal of the legislations.
The Indian agriculture sector, which was among the few segments that
remained robust amid the pandemic gales, is expected to register a growth
rate of 3.5 per cent in the current FInancial year ending March 2022.
Foodgrains production hit an all-time high in the 2020-21 crop year that
ended in June at 308.65 million tonnes. The production could reach 310
million tonnes in the current crop year.
The government procured huge quantities of wheat, rice, pulses, cotton and
oilseeds at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the benetft of farmers.
During 2020-21, paddy and wheat procurement reached a record 894.18 lakh
tonnes and 433.44 lakh tonnes, respectively. Procurement of pulses touched
21.91 lakh tonnes, coarse grains 11.87 lakh tonnes and oilseeds 11 lakh tonnes,
as per official data.
As production and procurement continued smoothly, the farmers’ agitation,
which started in November 2020, finally ended this month after Parliament
passed a Bill on the first day of Winter Session on November 29, to repeal the
three contentious farm laws. The Supreme Court had stayed implementation
of these laws in January itself.PTI