The Minister stated that the government has sufficient buffer stock of wheat and rice to deal with any shortages. "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 said.

The Minister said that the Department is collecting information from states on their preparedness and the same will be shared with media. With the revised projection of 88 percent, the monsoon is categorised as 'deficient', raising fears of drought like situation in some parts of the country.

The onset of South-West monsoon has delayed and is likely to hit Kerala coast on June 5. The timely onset of the South-West monsoon is crucial for sowing of kharif (summer) crops such as paddy and a deficit in rainfall may hit the rice output.

Agriculture, which employs about 60 percent of the country's population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 percent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.

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

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