Government assures of all help in case of poor monsoon

Parts of northwest and Central India are likely to be affected the most with less rainfall

New Delhi: Faced with the possibility of a below-average monsoon this year, the government on Wednesday assured farmers that all necessary steps would be taken to mitigate the impact of any shortfall in rains on crops.

"We are competent to handle any variation in normal monsoon. We had geared up for the situation last year when there were 12 per cent deficit rains, we will handle better this year as well," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told PTI.

He was replying to a question on steps to be taken by the government to protect farmers' interest in case of poor rains.

In its first forecast, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) today said that the southwest monsoon is likely be below normal for the second successive year due to the El-Nino phenomenon.

The IMD said parts of the northwest and Central India are likely to be affected the most with less rainfall.

Monsoon rains are crucial for agriculture as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation. The farm sector contributes about only 15 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but it employs about 60 per cent of India's population.

Southwest monsoon spans from June to September. As per the IMD, the southwest monsoon would be 93 per cent of the Long Period Average which is below normal in the current year, Minister for Earth Science Harsh Vardhan said in the press conference.

Below 90 per cent monsoon is defined as deficient, 90-96 per cent is considered as below normal, 96-104 per cent as normal and above which is excess, he added. El-Nino has affected rainfall bringing it below normal eight times in last 14 years. The impact of El-Nino has been factored in this year's forecast, the IMD said.

Last year, India experienced deficient rainfall with 88 per cent of the LPA and states in North-West region like Rajastham, Haryana, Delhi-NCR and western UP were affected.

( Source : PTI )
Next Story