New Delhi: Government announced that it will not resort to additional wheat imports as sufficient wheat stocks are there. It would also shortly announce incentives for sugar industry to continue maintaining tempo for sugar production on conditions that industry clears farmers’ dues for sugarcane procurement.
Stating this at the 5th Knowledge Millennium Summit, organized by Assocham, union minister for Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution, Sharad Pawar said that the Group of Ministers (GoM) has recommended to allow direct production of ethanol from sugar juice.
The Agriculture Ministry in next 10-12 days will move a cabinet note to this effect, so that direct production of ethanol from sugar juice is notified. The Minister categorically denied that no additional wheat imports would be ordered henceforth.
Whatever wheat imports had to take place, has been done and now wheat godowns are full and for next wheat session, the government intends to hike the wheat procurement price to over Rs1000 so that farmers get reasonable rates for their wheat production.
Since sugar production is picking up and amounting to lowering of sugar prices, the government intends to announce certain tax benefits to sugar industry, providing relief so that production levels are maintained.
Incentives and tax benefits would be accorded only to those sugar producers who have cleared farmers dues for sugar procurement and those who do not clear their outstanding, would be denied the benefit.
Grains and oil seeds diverted for bio fuel production
He blamed that most grains and oil seeds were being diverted for bio fuel production as a result of which government had to import pulses, oil seeds and wheat. Wheat producing states like Uttarkhand, UP, Haryana, Punjab, parts of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh will shoulder additional responsibility so that wheat is produced to meet its growing demand even from southern and north-eastern states.
Applications of bio-nano technology for higher wheat and other grains production is sought so that these are produced organically with much lesser consumption of water and fertilizers.
Nano technology relevant for India
Speaking on the occasion, nano scientist, Peter Grutter, Professor of Physics, McGill Univ. & Research Director, NSERC Nano Innovation Platform, Canada emphasized the need for encouraging innovations through intensive research for promotion of nano technology particularly in country like India. Nano applications will completely transform the Indian agriculture sector, its manufacturing and production technique for higher results in keeping complete harmony with nature.
Govt. of Andhra Pradesh announced that it had come up with industry friendly policies that has put in place several measures for promotion of biotechnology in the state. It has allotted 75 acres in Phase III biotech park as a preliminary step, she disclosed.