Delayed monsoon may hit food production targets of every state

Delayed monsoon may hit food production targets of every state

The delayed monsoon has cast its shadow on the national food production targets fixed by the Agriculture Ministry for every state for foodgrain, pulses, oilseeds and commercial crops.

As per the targets communicated to the state governments on Friday last, the ministry has set a target of 106 million tonnes for production of rice across the kharif and rabi seasons, while wheat production has been pegged at 94 million tonnes.

However, the delayed monsoon has worried the ministry officials, who have kept district-wise contingency plans ready to tackle a possible deficiency in rainfall across the country.

A meeting to review the monsoon situation, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, was told that the rainfall situation was expected to improve in the coming week.

Weather scientists said the situation could turn alarming if the stalled monsoon continued to play truant in the second week of July.

Besides rice and wheat, the target for coarse cereals is set at 41.50 million tonnes. This includes jowar (5.5 million tonnes), maize (23 MT) and ragi (1.75 MT). The target for total pulses production has been fixed at 19.5 MT, oilseeds (33 MT) and sugarcane (345 MT).

The states have also been asked to keep aside 10 per cent of funds available under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for undertaking appropriate interventions to mitigate drought-like situation, if any, arising out of deficient rainfall.

Till last week, rice had been sown/transplanted in 21.91 lakh hectares, pulses in 4.30 lakh hectares, oilseeds in 4.79 lakh hectares and coarse cereals in 19.54 lakh hectares.

As on Sunday, the country had received 43 per cent deficient rainfall with only five of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions getting normal rains.

Policy think-tanks such as Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations had recently said that agriculture growth which had touched 4.7 per cent last year may fall to below two per cent in the backdrop of a deficient monsoon. 

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