No drought-like situation in country: Pawar

The Government has announced that the south-west monsoon is likely to be below normal this season. This has raised concerns about its impact on agriculture and the economy.

"... there is no drought-like situation in the country. The monsoon is delayed by about 12 days in June," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters.

He said that the programme of sowing seeds, which was carried out with the help of state governments, is delayed by just a week. "This not a cause for worry," he said.

About 60 per cent of the total cultivable area of 140 million hectares is rain-fed, but the monsoon stopped in its tracks over the Konkan region of Maharashtra on June 7, although it arrived earlier than usual on May 23.

Agriculture Secretary T Nanda Kumar had said that there is a need to watch the rainfall in July-August carefully.

"...if it is well distributed in time and space without too many dry spells in between, we will still be able to achieve the agricultural production that we achieved last year," Kumar has said.

T Nanda Kumar has met agriculture secretaries of states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh to discuss strategy.

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