New Delhi, Dec 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced the launch of a 'Mission on Skill Development' and set a target of nine per cent per annum for the Eleventh Plan period (2002-07) to be achieved primarily by "revitalising agriculture' and development of physical and social infrastructure.
Observing that "agriculture is in a crisis," the Prime Minister in his inaugural address to the National Development Council (NDC) meeting here said the Eleventh Plan must give top priority to redressing the weaknesses in the agricultural sector.
The Eleventh Plan targets doubling of agricultural growth rate to 4.1 per cent per annum from the average growth rate of 1.8 per cent during the Tenth Plan.
He said weaker groups in rural areas need special attention as they faced more difficulties.
Dr Singh noted that growth in agriculture has been less than two per cent per annum since the middle of the 1990s.
The Prime Minister said the problem was not just distributional, with better off farmers doing well while the landless and small farmers facing hardships.