Rain deficit may linger for a week

Rain deficit may linger for a week

As the fear of drought looms large, with the country receiving 21 per cent deficit monsoon, the Centre has scheduled a high level meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and its possible impact on food production and price.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, will meet to discuss the current agriculture scenario, sources in the Agriculture Ministry told Deccan Herald.

In the meeting, a host of issues like diesel subsidy to farmers in the drought hit areas, fodder cultivation in the command areas, availability of seeds, fertiliser and supply of sufficient power to irrigation pumps are likely to be discussed. The meeting will also deliberate on ways to contain price rise in the event of a possible decline in food grain production, besides import and distribution of pulses and oil seeds to the poor at subsided rates.

As rain continues to play truant in most parts of the country, the Agriculture Ministry has directed the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and other agriculture universities to supply groundnut, pulses, jowar and bajra seeds, which require less water. 

As per an India Meteorological Department report, the peninsular India, particularly west Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Kutch, Rayalseema, interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu will receive deficient rain for one more week. However, the west Coast, central and east India, east UP and east Rajasthan are expected to receive adequate rain, while sporadic rain is expected in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, west UP, Gujarat and the western Himalayan region.

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