ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Japanese Connection

 ed at 151 mn tonnes against the target of 149 mn tonnes. This is no doubt the basis of the Union agriculture secretary's confidence that in 1984-85 an output of 156 mn tonnes would be achieved, outstripping the Sixth Plan target of 153.6 mn tonnes for the year. At the meeting of agriculture secretaries, a number of states were keen to have their production target for 1984-85 raised, no doubt in the expectation this would entitle them to a large share of the allocations of agricultural inputs and outlays. On the whole, the conference exuded confidence about food production provided the 'seven key inputs' were ensured seed, water, fertiliser, pesticides, technology, implements and credit. No one seemed to have much thought to spare for the institutional hurdles in the way of absorption of these inputs 'which are so responsible for the wide variations in use of modern inputs as between different classes of cultivators and different states or regions, In such a situation the determination of the National Seeds Corporation to cover an additional 1.56 mn hectares with improved seeds main ly jowar. bajra, paddy and maize - has to be viewed with caution. It is as if we have been trained to focus on fulfilment of certain quantitative stipulations in judging the adequacy of policy: thus, that seeds allocation is to be 7.7 mn tonnes as against 5.2 mn tonnes last year or that fertiliser consumption has been on the rise continuously in the past three years from 64 lakh tonnes to 78 lakh tonnes to 81 lakh tonnes seems to infuse satisfaction. Similarly, the decline in offtake from the public distribution system since January has been taken as a mark of success of food policy. Production having been high, the gap between issue prices from the public distribution system and market prices has been narrowed resulting in diversion of demand to the open market. Procurement prices have witnessed a significant rise in the last four years

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