UP, Bihar have potential for wheat production: Pawar

Kolkata, Sep 26 (IANS) The central government will bring additional areas under wheat cultivation in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as they have the "untapped potential" to produce food grain, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said Wednesday.

"Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have untapped potential in production of wheat. We have talked about taking some special programmes to bring additional areas under wheat cultivation in these two regions," Pawar told reporters here.

Earlier, he held a meeting here of the committee of the chief ministers of seven eastern states on the centrally-sponsored programme - 'Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India'.

Uttar Pradesh, the largest wheat growing region of the country, produces around 28 million tonnes of wheat and Bihar produces around 5 million tonnes.

Pawar said the impact of the Green Revolution in eastern India programme has been very encouraging as rice production in the eastern states has soared from 403 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 to 487 lakh tonnes in 2011-12.

Reacting to a question on farmers suicide in West Bengal, the minister said unless and until an efficient food grain procurement machinery was set up, the agriculturists would not get the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

"First time the West Bengal government has taken the initiative to set up procurement agency. There is a thinking of the West Bengal government to expand the procurement machinery in the entire state," he said.




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