In the eighth plan agriculture including irrigation has got an allocation of Rs. 96,167 crores which is 18% of the total plan outlay and almost double than that of the Seventh Plan. The main thrust of the plan is to produce surplus food grains for export and to achieve self-sufficiency in respect of pulses and oil seeds.
Hence a number of programmes pertaining to dry land development, accelerated agricultural development in the eastern region, diversification of agriculture, subsidy on agricultural products, post harvest technology, loan on inputs, horticulture, pisciculture, dairy farming have been taken up.
The plan has fixed up a target of producing 210 million tons of food grains, 23 million tons of oil-seeds, 275 million tons of sugarcane, 14 million bales of cotton and 9.5 million bales of jute and Mesta by 1996-97 with an annual growth rate of 3.1 %. Butthe actual production has been 191.2 million tons of food grains, 24.1 million tons of oilseeds, 273.6 million tons of sugar cane, 14.3 million bales of cotton and 9.2 million bales of jute and Mesta.