Monsoon delayed but situation not serious: Pawar
New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) There had been a two-week delay in the monsoon but the situation was not serious, union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here Tuesday and added that rainfall would pick up by next week.
"Yes, monsoon has been delayed by two weeks...but situation is not serious as it is made out to be. We expect the rainfall to pick up by next week," Pawar said.
He said the deficiency of rainfall was 31 percent till July 2.
"The Met department has told me that July and August will get good monsoon and there will be ample opportunity to cover the gap of delayed monsoon in the month of June," he said.
In some states, early sowing has been affected.
"It is true that in certain states early sowing has been affected, particularly Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," he said.
"There are sufficient stocks of food grain available in the country and the government is ready to supply, if the states ask for it. Government will take appropriate decision to enter the open market at an appropriate time."
Pawar also said that states were ready with their contingency plan and have been told to keep sufficient feed ready.
Stating that 2011 was the best crop production year, he said a comparison should be made with a normal year.
"The situation this year may not be fully satisfactory, but it is not sad," he said.
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