Agri Business

Govt not worried about monsoon, sees grain output at 2011 level

PTI Mumbai | Updated on June 25, 2012

The Food Minister, Mr K. V. Thomas, today said there is no worry about the monsoon and foodgrains production is expected at last year’s level.

On the back of a good monsoon in 2011, the country harvested a record foodgrain production of 252.56 million tonnes.

“We are concerned about the IMD report of an average monsoon this year. However, we are not worried about it. We expect foodgrains production to be similar to last year,” Mr Thomas told presspersons on the sidelines of a seminar here.

Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) downgraded the monsoon rainfall marginally to 96 per cent of the long period average and forecast good rains in July and August.

Monsoon rains arrived four days late in Kerala on June 5 and are yet to pick up.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the planting of paddy in the ongoing kharif season has been slightly delayed across the country due to the late monsoon.

As on June 22, farmers had planted paddy in 18.7 lakh hectares, the Ministry data said, adding that reports suggest sowing of other kharif crops has been on the lower side.

Farmers have sown oilseeds in 3.13 lakh hectares, coarse cereals in 5.59 lakh hectares, cotton in 21 lakh hectares and sugarcane in 51.52 lakh hectares so far in the 2012-13 crop year (July-June).

The sowing of kharif crops such as paddy, pulses and oilseeds begins from April but gains momentum after the onset of the South-West monsoon in June.

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

Published on June 25, 2012

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