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Govt ready with contingency plan to deal with poor monsoon: Centre

Posted by sonimanish Published on Wed, 2015-06-03 17:22

News article

Wed, 2015-06-03 (All day)
New Delhi, India

The government is ready with contingency plans in 580 districts to deal with poor monsoon, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday.

The Minister said that the government has sufficient buffer stock of wheat and rice to deal with any shortages.

"We started preparing contingency plans for 580 districts from April onwards. We are ready to face the situation and we will overcome with the help of states," Singh told reporters when asked about the his ministry's preparedness in view of forecast of deficient monsoon.

The Minister said that the Department is collecting information from states on their preparedness and the same will be shared with media.

The Met Department revised its forecast from 93 per cent to 88 per cent Long Period Average (LPA), with north-west region of the country expected to be hit the most.

Now, with the revised projection of 88 per cent, the monsoon is categorised as "deficient", raising fears of drought like situation in some parts of the country.

The onset of South-West monsoon has delayed and is likely to hit coast of the south Indian state of Kerala on June 5.

The timely onset of the South-West monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops such as paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit the rice output.

Agriculture, which employs about 60 per cent of the country's population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.

Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which hit production of grains, cotton and oilseeds.

Due to poor monsoon, agriculture growth stood at 0.2 per cent in the 2014-15 fiscal.

According to the government's estimate, total foodgrains production has declined to 251.12 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) from a record production of 265.04 million tonnes in the previous year.