Govt prepared to face deficient monsoon

Govt prepared to face deficient monsoon

Govt prepared to face deficient monsoon

Staring at a second consecutive year of deficient rain, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday said it was better-prepared to tackle the challenge posed by the poor monsoon forecast.

“We had succeeded in limiting the farm losses the previous year. We have learnt from that experience,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters here.

Last year, timely supplies of drought resistant seeds, fertilisers and diesel subsidies had minimised damage to food grains despite 12 per cent deficient monsoon rain, Singh said.

He also said the government will introduce a new insurance policy to protect farmer’s income and crop losses.

The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday cut the monsoon forecast raising fears of the first drought in six years. He admitted that sub-normal monsoon last year and untimely rain earlier this year had dragged agriculture growth into the negative.

“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 his ministry’s preparedness in view of forecast of deficient monsoon.

According to the government’s estimate, total food grains production has declined to 251.12 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year from a record production of 265.04 million tonnes in the previous year.

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