Centre claims they are prepared for weak monsoon

RSTV Bureau

monsoon_farmerA day after the Central government made an announcement about the forecast of weak monsoon this year, Union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has claimed that the BJP-led NDA government is prepared to face deficient monsoon and its impacts.

“Govt is ready to face deficient monsoon and will make efforts to minimise damage to agriculture and economy,” Agriculture minister Radha Mohan said addressing the press in New Delhi.

The Met department, on Tuesday morning, had revised the forecast of this year’s monsoon down to 88 per cent from an earlier anticipated 93 per cent. The announcement had set in motion the fears of drought and its immediate impacts were felt with markets crashing 661 points low on the Sensex on Tuesday. Though, the worst hit would be the farming community which is already facing acute agrarian crises.

Exuding confidence over tackling deficient monsoon, minimising production losses and its possible impact on overall economy, the Union minister claimed that Narendra Modi-led government is working on bringing a new crop insurance policy by end of this year to protect farmers’ income.

The Agriculture minister also spoke about the necessity of drought resistant seeds and how his government will be going to ensure that the seeds are available in adequate quantity in the districts which may receive lesser rainfall.

Earlier yesterday, agriculture experts and economists had raised the issue of drought-resistant seeds and how it still remains low on government’s priority.

“There is a need to create seed banks and help farmers to buy seeds at an affordable price… This is never a part of the exigency plan of the government…The challenge is that with one crop failure there is also going to be a seed failure,” Yatish Rajawat, a well known columnists on economic policies had opined.

The Agriculture minister also claimed that the government is ready with contingency plans in 580 districts to deal with poor monsoon. He also said that the government has an adequate stock of wheat and rice to deal with any shortage that may come with the weak monsoon.

“We started preparing contingency plans for 580 districts from April onwards. We are ready to face the situation and we will overcome with the help of states,” Singh added while speaking on the “achievements” of the Union Agriculture Ministry in the last one year.

Last year, the country had received 12 per cent less rains, which had severely hit the production of grains, cotton and oilseeds. Due to poor monsoon, agriculture growth stood at a shockingly meagre 0.2 per cent in the 2014-15 fiscal.

(With inputs from PTI)