Farm credit rises seven-fold during UPA's tenure

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Agriculture credit jumped seven-fold to Rs 7,00,000 crore in the past ten years of UPA government, boosting foodgrains output to a record and enabling enactment of food law.

"To keep pace with the UPA government's resolve to provide food and nutritional security to the people, especially the poor, efforts to increase foodgrains production have yielded results," according to a UPA government report card released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Efforts to strengthen the agri-sector have led to record production of foodgrains since 2004 and the UPA government has enacted the National Food Security Act.

Foodgrains output has increased to over 255 million tonnes in 2012-13 crop year (July-June) from 198 million tonnes in 2004-05.

The food law aims to provide a legal right to families of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) for 35 kg of foodgrains per month and other families of five kilo per person at subsidised rates under the ration shops.

Listing out measures taken to boost the farm sector, the UPA government said in its tenure farm credit has been raised to Rs 7,00,000 crore in 2013-14 fiscal from Rs 1,04,500 crore in 2004-05 fiscal, while 11 crore kisan credit cards have been issued under various schemes to assist farmers.

The minimum support price (MSP) of commodities has been increased steadily to ensure farmers' welfare. Wheat and paddy MSP has more than doubled in the last ten years.

Wheat MSP has been hiked from Rs 640/quintal in 2004-05 to Rs 1,350/quintal in 2012-13. Whereas paddy MSP has been increased to Rs 560/quintal to Rs 1,250/quintal in 2012-13.

The support price of cereals has also been increased three-fold and is now better than wheat and paddy.

That apart, the share of Indian agri-exports in the global market rose to 2.6 per cent in 2012. In fact in 2013, the country exported farm items worth USD 41 billion against agri-import of only USD 20 billion, giving a net surplus of USD 21 billion.

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