Agriculture ministry denies media reports on drought

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has called the media reports regarding drought in 225 districts in 17 states, factually incorrect

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New Delhi: “Recently, some news reports have been published regarding drought warning for 225 districts in 17 States, are factually incorrect. We have been monitoring regularly the agricultural situation in the States. During the current monsoon season, the monsoon rains have been normal i.e. 738.8 mm against the normal of 782.2 mm as on September 10, 2017. The overall rainfall in the country is in the category of normal (-6%). The monsoon season in the country is from 1st June to 30th September. Many states particularly, NE States are receiving heavy monsoon rains,” mentioned the statement by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

As per the Ministry, kharif crops coverage in almost all the States have been satisfactory and the rains during the period from 1-10 September, 2017 in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha and Jharkhand have improved moisture in the soil. This wide distribution of rainfall has brightened the prospects of kharif production in current season. During 2017-18, the area sown under all kharif crops is 1041.17 lakh hectares against the normal of the corresponding period of 1014.00 lakh hectares as on September 08, 2017. However, some areas experienced deficit rains after sowing of kharif crops.

The States have already started assessment of impact of less rain in such areas. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare staed that it has already given advisories to the States for life saving irrigation, in case of moisture stress. Though there is deficit rainfall reported in 95 districts but sowing is normal and satisfactory. The current rainfall in first fortnight of September in many States will improve the situation. The yield is expected to be same as of last year. There is no drought like situation.