Scanty rains might affect agriculture this year: Pawar | SupportBiz

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Scanty rains might affect agriculture this year: Pawar

The government has said that it would be a challenge to match the record crop production levels of the past two years in the wake of the monsoon playing truant in Maharashtra and Karnataka. "This year, with monsoon playing hide and seek, it will be really a challenge to maintain the excellent performance of the last two years," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.

The government is concerned that scanty rains in Maharashtra and Karnataka and parts of Andhra Pradesh will affect the sowing of summer crop this year.

Food production was 235 million tonnes in 2010-11, and is expected to be over 250 million tonnes in 2011-12, said officials.

Monsoon rains are crucial, as around 60 percent of Indian agriculture depends on them.

"This continues to challenge the farming community, scientists and policy-makers alike," said Pawar, adding, "The government is ready to face any monsoon eventualities."

He said that there are sufficient quantities of seeds of late-sown varieties of various crops, and these have been dispatched to different states.

"Steps have also been taken to provide sufficient quantities of seeds of rabi pulses to compensate for any loss in pulse production in the summer kharif season," he said.

Earlier, former president APJ Abdul Kalam called for establishing research missions with an aim to take India's food grain production to 350 million tonnes by 2020.

Pawar also gave awards to scientists to mark the Indian Council for Agricultural Research Foundation Day.

He listed CR Dhan 701 of rice, chickpea, moong bean and maize hybrids, along with improved production technologies besides a breakthrough in the decoding of tomato genome as some of the recent achievements of agri-scientists.