The India Meteorological Department has meanwhile further lowered monsoon forecast to "deficient" for the current year, followed by unseasonal rains and hailstorms in March 2015, which have already impacted foodgrains production.
"For the kharif (summer) season), the outlook is clouded by the first estimates of IMD predicting that soutwest monsoon will be 7 per cent below the long period average. This has been exacerbated by the confirmation of the onset of El Nino by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology," RBI said.
Against this backdrop, the RBI said: "Strong food policy and management will be important to help keep inflation and inflationary expectations contained over the near term."
The food management plan should comprise of storage of adequate quantity of seeds and fertilisers for timely supply, crop insurance schemes, credit facilities, timely release of food stocks and the repair of disruptions in food supply chains, including through imports and de-hoarding, it said.
Inflation control will also be helped by limiting the increase in agricultural support prices, it added.
Assuming reasonable food management, RBI said, "inflation is expected to be pulled down by base effect till August but to start rising thereafter to about 6 per cent by January 2016 slightly higher than the projections in April".
Citing reasons for lower production in 2014-15, RBI said that agricultural activity was adversely affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms in north India during March 2015, impinging on an estimated 94 lakh hectares of area sown under the rabi crop.

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