"There was 13 percent shortfall in monsoon rains. It is natural, there would be some impact on rabi crops but it will not be significant," Singh told reporters here.

Till Monday, sowing area was down by two percent and the overall rabi production is also expected to be slightly lower than in 2013-14, he added.

According to the latest data, rabi crops have been sown in 53 million hectares area so far this season, as against 55.7 million hectare in the year-ago.

Area under wheat is down at 27.9 million hectare this year as against 28.6 million hectare last year, while pulses acreage is at 12.41 million hectare this year as against 13.47 million hectare in the review period.

Rabi sowing starts from October, while harvesting begins from March.

Singh said that on account of timely action and contingency plans, there was not huge impact on kharif (summer) crops, which was anticipated earlier due to shortfall in monsoon rains and drought-like situation in some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Asked about farmers being in distress due to falling prices of some commodities, Singh said that the government is taking measures to protect domestic farmers.

In case of cotton, the state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has started buying cotton at the Minimum Support Price (MSP), he said.

A 'Price Stabilisation Fund' with a corpus of Rs 500 crore has also been operationalised last week. "To begin with potato and onion will be procured to ensure farmers get fair price for their produce," he said.

Asked if farmers would be in trouble with the some amendments cleared to the Land Acquisition Act recently through an ordinance route, Singh said, "No, our farmers will not face any problem. Farmers will get the benefit."      

The changes proposed to the law will help in getting the land for developing rural infrastructure, which otherwise would have delayed the key projects, he added.

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