Integrated farming needed for agricultural growth: Swaminathan


  • New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) India should focus on integrated farming to sustain the growth rate of four percent in agriculture, experts said here Friday.
  • 'Integrated farming is needed to achieve a sustainable high growth rate,' said noted agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan at an agriculture leadership summit.
  • He said livestock was an important part of agriculture, and should be taken care of more effectively to increase farm output and enhance farmers' income.
  • Former agriculture minister Sompal said the government should have an independent budget for agriculture, which is currently part of the general budget.
  • 'We have been spending only 1.3 percent of India's gross domestic product (GDP) for several years on agriculture that sustains 65 percent of the country's population,' Sompal said.
  • In the last budget, agriculture and allied sectors were allocated Rs.10,074 crore or Rs.100.74 billion.
  • The two-day summit beginning Friday has been organised by Agriculture Today, a monthly publication of the Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), a local think-tank on farming and rural development.
  • India's GDP or its total market value of all final goods and services produced within a year, was officially estimated at Rs.31,14,452 crore or Rs.31,144.52 billion for 2007-08.
  • 'We can effectively go for integrated farming if the government increases funds allocation for agricultrue,' said Sompal.
  • Integrated farming refers to agricultural systems that integrate livestock and crop production.
  • It also denotes sustainable development by balancing food production, profitability, safety, animal welfare, social responsibility and environmental care.
  • India's agriculture sector logged a 4.5 percent growth in the last fiscal and is targeted to achieve 4 percent growth during 2007-12.
  • Agriculture and allied sectors, which saw its growth rate plummeting to 2.5 percent during 2002-07, now contributes around 18 percent to India's GDP as against 36.4 percent during 1982-83.

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