Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the government has taken several measures to address ‘any situation’ arising due to deficiency in rainfall. (Agencies)
"Delay in onset of monsoon and its slow progress has caused delay in sowing of paddy, pulses, oilseeds and cotton but the sowing window is available till early August and sowing coverage is expected to improve with further progress of monsoon," he said during the Question Hour.
Singh said the stock of wheat and rice in the central pool is well above buffer norms and is sufficient to meet the country’s food security requirements.
The Central Research Institute of Dryland Agriculture has in collaboration with the State Agriculture Universities prepared contingency plans for 500 districts for implementing location-specific interventions to sustain agriculture production in the ‘eventuality of weak monsoon or deficient rainfall’, the Agriculture Minister said.
He said the state governments have been asked to ensure availability of short duration and drought tolerant varieties of seeds so as to be in a position to supply them to farmers in case such a need arises.
The states have also been advised to keep aside 10 percent of funds available under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna and other schemes for undertaking appropriate interventions to mitigate any situation arising out of deficient rainfall.
Responding to a supplementary, Singh said while there are several schemes dealing with water conservation, more are likely to be announced and the Budget will throw more light on the issue.
Replying to another supplementary, he said certain changes were brought in Krishi Beema Yojna but some states including Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh had opposed it, leading to its postponement. Some states had objected to higher rates of premium for farmers.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said a 30-minute discussion on the issue of monsoon and agriculture can be held during the session if the members desire.
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the government has taken several measures to address ‘any situation’ arising due to deficiency in rainfall.