GUWAHATI, July 4 � Under foodgrains (category II), the Union Agriculture Ministry has given the best performance award for the year 2010-11 to Assam.
This was informed by the ministry to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi through a letter yesterday. The award will be given away by the Prime Minister at a function to be held in New Delhi on July 16. It carries Rs 2 crore. Gogoi and State Agriculture Minister Nilomani Sen Deka will receive this award.
It needs to be mentioned here that during a review meeting of different States held on October 19, 2010, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had announced a scheme to reward the best performing State in foodgrain production.
There are a total of seven awards including three for the best performing States with highest foodgrain production in three identified categories in terms of production level. The other four awards are given for the highest production under rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereal crops.
The reward amount for the highest foodgrain producing State is Rs 2 crore and Rs 1 crore will be given for individual crop category.
According to an official source, Assam will utilize the reward amount to improve the working environment in the agriculture offices.
Selection for the reward is done in two steps. Initially the States performance is assessed on a weightage card of 90 point on the criteria of highest production, contribution to national production, expenditure under agriculture development schemes, and human resource management.
The States are divided into three categories based on the highest production level of foodgrain achieved by a State in the previous five years. Assam came under category II along with other States like Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Chhatishgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Last year, that is in 2010-11, Assam was able to produce 52.31 lakh metric tonne foodgrain as per third advance estimate. Likewise during the year, Assam produced a record all time high production of 50.86 lakh metric tonne of rice. The source said that this achievement has come to Assam due to proper implementation of different schemes like National Food Security Mission-Rice, Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana, different irrigation and mechanization programme, newly introduced of hybrid variety of rice etc.