“Insufficient rainfall has only added to the woes of the Indian economy grappling with high inflation rates,” said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in a statement.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the average monsoon rainfall has been deficient by 22 per cent in the country for the June 1 to July 16 period.
“Not only will there be an impact on the performance of the agricultural sector but also on other sectors through the effect on rural incomes,” said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General, CII.
In this respect, Mr Banerjee said that the Prime Minister’s efforts to bring together the States and Ministries for a co-ordinated approach towards preparing for a weak monsoon are welcome.
The sowing of the major Kharif crops as on July 13 was down 18 per cent as compared to last year – almost similar to the pattern observed in 2009, which saw the worst drought in four decades.
The suggestions made by CII include uniform implementation of the APMC Act across States, immediate delisting of perishables from the APMC list and giving farmers the freedom to sell fresh, perishable produce directly to food processing companies, aggregators and retailers.
“Moreover, FDI in food retail can also help in facilitating big retailers establish marketing chains with farmers and help smooth supplies. There is need to reduce the dependence of agriculture on monsoons by adopting technologies like drip irrigation, developing drought resistant quality of seeds, and promoting rainwater harvesting,” CII said in a release.