Poor rains in K`taka, Maharashtra worrisome: Pawar

The government Wednesday said it is worried about poor rains in Karnataka and central Maharashtra which could affect the production of coarse cereals and supply of drinking water.

Updated: Jul 11, 2012, 15:32 PM IST

New Delhi: The government Wednesday said it is worried about poor rains in Karnataka and central Maharashtra which could affect the production of coarse cereals and supply of drinking water.

Briefing about the progress of monsoon and the sowing of kharif crops, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the rainfall situation has improved across the country in last 10 days, barring these two states.

"As on today, the country as a whole, the rainfall situation is definitely improving vis-a-vis 10 days back. But the worrisome areas are Karnataka and central Maharashtra," Pawar told reporters after meeting with IMD officials.

The two states have received scanty rains so far and the situation has not improved to the satisfactory level, he said.

"There is a cause of concern about coarse cereal (bajra, jowar and maize) production and drinking water supply in these two states," Pawar said.

On the impact of deficient rains on sowing of Kharif (summer) crops across the country, he said there is no concern about paddy, cotton, sugarcane and oilseeds as planting of these crops is expected to pick up.

"Sowing of rice, the main kharif crop, is in progress. There are good rains in Orissa and Chattisgarh and there should not be any problem in paddy area," he said.

The planting of groundnut and soyabean is expected to improve as there were good rains in parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the last two days, he added.

"Only problem is coarse cereals. The coarse cereals situation is not good. Already 50 per cent sowing operation is over but sowing operation can go up to first week of August. Still there is time," Pawar said.

Asked about the impact of deficient rains on supply and prices of food items, he said there is no problem of food grains availability and there is "no large impact" on prices.

PTI