A Target for Foodgrain Production by 2025 AD

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Having brought together the array of future challenges for increasing food grain production, it will be instructive to make a reasonable estimate of the domestic grain demand in future, say by 2025 AD. Such a target is necessary to assess the magnitude of the task and formulate plans to realize it.

This is attempted with the following assumptions: (a) India’s population will be 1.392 billion by 2025 AD; (b) the livestock feed needed will be 50 mt of grains; (c) the present level of 35 per cent of population below poverty line will be reduced to 10 per cent; and (d) the present direct per capita grain consumption rate of 210 kg per year of those above poverty line will apply to the 90 per cent in 2025 while for the remaining 10 per cent below poverty line it will be 120- 140 kg per year.

It is true that some of the assumptions are more subjective than others but the final grain demand is not very sensitive to reasonable variations in the assumptions except (c) above, which is taken as a national goal for poverty alleviation.

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The outcome of such an estimate is an annual total demand of 330 mt. of foodgrains in 2025; it corresponds to an annual growth of 5 mt. Considering the wisdom of planning for a modest exportable surplus and allowing for the possibility of a higher per capita direct consumption rate with improving economic performance, a target of 350-375 mt. does not seem unreasonable to aim for at the present time.

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