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Food Items under Govt Radar: Prices & Demand-Supply Situation Being Closely Monitored

The government is actively working to ensure stability in food prices and availability while supporting the growth of the agriculture sector.

Shivam Dwivedi
Food Items under Govt Radar: Prices & Demand-Supply Situation Being Closely Monitored (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Food Items under Govt Radar: Prices & Demand-Supply Situation Being Closely Monitored (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Kailash Choudhary, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, informed the public on Tuesday that the government is continuously monitoring the pricing and availability of vital food commodities. In the wake of persistent concerns over food inflation and recent export limits on non-basmati white rice, he reiterated the government's commitment to balancing the interests of both consumers and farmers.

To ensure effective oversight, the government has established a panel responsible for regularly monitoring food prices and availability in the market. Choudhary stated that measures would be taken to bolster domestic availability and stabilize prices as necessary.

Choudhary mentioned during the launch of ITC's postal stamp on millets in collaboration with India Post that the government is monitoring the prices and availability of food items and taking measures to boost domestic availability and keep prices under check.

When it comes to the demand-supply situation and retail prices, the government will determine whether to impose export duties or implement restrictions on exports. The minister further reassured that there is no issue with the supply of food items in the country. He reiterated that the government aims to prioritize both consumers and farmers and aims to strike a delicate balance between their interests. According to data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the inflation in the food basket stood at 4.49 per cent in June, which was higher than the 2.96 per cent recorded in May. The food basket accounts for nearly half of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The data also revealed that there were notable price increases in spices (19.19 per cent), cereals and products (12.71 per cent), pulses and products (10.53 per cent), and eggs (7 per cent) compared to the previous year. However, there was a decline in inflation for oil and fats (-18.12 per cent) and vegetables (-0.93 per cent) during the same period. During the event, Minister Choudhary emphasized the importance of promoting the production and consumption of millets. He pointed out that the global demand for millets is on the rise, which presents a favorable opportunity for India as it is the largest producer of these nutritious grains.

Encouraging the cultivation of millets will especially benefit small farmers, as it can lead to increased income levels. Already, there has been a significant surge in the prices of bajra, a type of millet, in the past three years, benefiting farmers with better rates.

Minister Choudhary also highlighted the health benefits of millets and stressed the need to promote their consumption for improved well-being. To further support farmers, the government has implemented various initiatives over the past nine years, including the PM-KISAN scheme and a substantial increase in the agriculture budget. These efforts have significantly contributed to enhancing farmers' income.

Choudhary emphasized the importance of providing farmers with access to the latest agricultural technologies. As part of this effort, the government is offering subsidies to encourage the use of drones in the agriculture sector, thus promoting efficiency and productivity.

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