Concerned over deficient rains, the Centre today reviewed the monsoon and sowing situation in six major states, including Karnataka and Maharashtra, and said rains in August would be crucial to make up the shortfall in area.

The Union Agriculture Secretary, Mr Ashish Bahuguna, today called upon top officials of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana for discussing the contingency plans in these states which have received scanty rains so far.

“Overall, rainfall deficiency has reduced to 22 per cent from 30 per cent in June. Rains in July have not been that bad. Rains in August are crucial to make up the shortfall in area in these states,” Mr Bahuguna told reporters after the meeting.

Pointing out that large parts of land are still unsown in these six states, he said that there is still time for sowing and the shortfall could be made up if the rains are good next month. “There is sufficient supply of seeds in these states for late sowing.”

As per the latest data, the area under all the monsoon-sown crops has declined by 14 per cent to 53.4 million hectares from a year earlier.

On Karnataka, he said there is a shortfall of 10 lakh hectare area under kharif crops so far but 8 lakh hectares could be made up if monsoon recovers.

Expressing concern over the rain situation in Maharashtra, the Secretary said that 8.65 lakh hectares is likely to remain unsown due to lack of rains in western Maharashtra.

(This article was published on July 21, 2012)
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