Centre to consult states on drought salvage efforts
New Delhi: Worried over the impact of monsoon failure, the Centre has convened a meeting of the State Agriculture Ministers on Friday to chalk out plans for salvaging losses in Kharif production and to discus strategy for increasing crop coverage during Rabi.
The meeting to be chaired by Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, has been called to "draw up an action plan to salvage the losses in Kharif and to plan for higher
crop coverage in the Rabi season", an official statement said.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Rural development Minister C P Joshi would also be present at the meeting.
According to estimates, rice production during the Kharif season (June-September) would fall by 10 million tonnes and shortfalls are also expected in sugarcane and oilseeds
Meanwhile, the government on Thursday announced an increase of Rs 100 per quintal in the minimum support price for paddy and up to Rs 240 a quintal for pulses.
With 246 districts in ten states affected by drought, prices of essential food items, mainly sugar, pulses and vegetables have increased sharply despite the benchmark wholesale price index remaining low.
However, the government is putting up a brave front, thanks to high food stocks, which is sufficient for the next 13 months.