New Delhi : The government is targeting to increase pulses production by around 50 per cent to 24 million tonne by 2020-21 through use of hybrid and high-yielding seed varieties, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said. The country imported Rs 69,717 crore worth of edible oils and Rs 18,000 crore worth of pulses during last fiscal to meet the domestic demand, the minister informed, according to PTI report. Addressing the members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee related to his ministry, Singh said the government is giving a thrust on increasing the productivity of oilseeds and pulses. He emphasised on greater mechanization in harvesting of pulses and oilseeds to prevent harvest loss.

 “A road map to achieve production of 20 million tonnes (MT) pulses in 2016-17, 21 MT in 2017-18 and 24 MT in 2020-21 as against 16.47 MT production in 2015-16 has been envisaged with an action plan under centrally sponsored scheme of National Food Security Mission (NFSM),” an official statement said. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Ministry will jointly work on a two-pronged approach of productivity enhancement and increasing production through area expansion for meeting the shortage of pulses, he added. As regards oilseeds, he said the growth rate of edible oil consumption has increased at 4.3 per cent while the annual oilseeds output increased at about 2.2 per cent.      “The country has to import over 50 per cent of edible oil. Last year edible oils to the tune of Rs 69,717 crore were imported to meet the domestic demand,” he said.

To meet the annual consumption of vegetable oil in the country, it is estimated that oilseed production to the tune of 86.84 MT and 93.32 MT would be required by 2020 and 2025 respectively.

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