No drought like situation, don’t panic: Minister

June 23rd, 2010 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The government Wednesday said it did not expect a drought like situation this year and it was well equipped if climatic changes affected agriculture production.
Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas said his ministry had been told that southern India has got 96 percent rainfall and central India 75 percent, which he claimed was good for the kharif crops.

“No need to panic. Monsoon normally arrive in central India at the end of June. We don’t expect a drought-like situation this year,” Thomas told IANS.

He said the agriculture ministry would have a strategy to overcome possible shortfall in rains.

“We are well equipped and we have different varieties of seeds and technology to deal with such a situation,” the minister said.

Kharif sowing has started and early data from the agriculutre ministry shows that paddy has been sown in less area than last year.

Till June 18, paddy had been sown in 10.97 lakh hectares across India. In comparison, rice was sown in 11.73 lakh hectares at the corresponding time last year.

However, the ministry had said “the sowing of rice is in very early stage”.

Last years kharif rice production was hit by the erratic monsoon. This year, data from the Central Water Commission says that there is enough water in reservoirs across the country - a vital need for paddy.

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