Delayed monsoon brings award, as state acts fast on coarse cereals

The delayed monsoon, which gave the Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Department a brief scare, has now given it a reason to cheer and an award too.

The delay forced the department to step up the production of coarse cereals as they require minimum water. And now, in all of India, UP has registered the highest percentage increase in production of coarse cereals for which it will be honoured with the Krishi Karman Award. State Agriculture Minister Anand Singh, Agriculture Department Director Deo Mitr Singh and other senior departmental officials are in Delhi to receive the award from the President on Tuesday.

"Delayed rainfall forced us to take up production of coarse cereals in places worst hit by the absence of rainfall," said Deo Mitr Singh.

"Most states, like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and southern states including Karnataka with which coarse cereals are traditionally associated registered an increase in their production too, but it was UP which registered the highest percentage increase," he added.

In the last five years, UP's highest production of coarse cereals stood at 32.18 lakh tonnes (in 2010-11). In 2011-12, this improved to 35.49 lakh tonnes an increase of nearly 10.30 per cent.

For maize, the production was highest in 2008-09 at 12.44 lakh metric tonnes, in the last five years. In 2011-12, this increased to 13.08 lakh metric tonnes. Similarly, production of bajra was 15.57 lakh metric tonnes in 2010-11, which increased to 16.33 lakh metric tonnes in 2011-12. For jowar, it was 2.10 lakh metric tonnes in 2008-09, which now stands at 2.13 lakh metric tonnes for 2011-12. Small millets also registered an increase.

However, though the state had won the award for the overall production category last year, it missed it this year even with an increase in its production from 473.16 lakh metric tonnes in 2010-11 to 518.83 lakh metric tonnes in 2011-12, due to a change in criterion.

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