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Monsoon so far good, to encourage farm output: RBI

business Updated: Jun 16, 2011 15:00 IST

The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said the progress of southwest monsoon has been "satisfactory" so far and will help boost farm output in the 2011-12 crop year.

"The progress of southwest monsoon has so far been satisfactory, which augurs well for agricultural production," the central bank said in its mid-quarter credit policy review.

Good monsoon is necessary for India's economic growth as more than 60% of the country's total population is dependent on agriculture and allied activities.

Besides, increase in foodgrains production will help improve supply situation and contain high inflation of over 9%.

Speaking about the monsoon trend, agriculture secretary PK Basu had recently said, "The spread of rainfall across the country is "perfect" till date and I hope the area under paddy and other kharif crops will be better than last year".

He had also expressed confidence that if good rains continues, the country is likely to harvest a record 102 million tonnes of rice in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June).

The sowing of kharif crops like paddy and pulses commenced from the current month and is expected gather pace with rains in the coming weeks.

Southwest monsoon set in over Kerala on May 29, two days earlier than the forecast made by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD has forecasted that rainfall during the four month season was "most likely" to be normal this year, at about 98% of the Long Period Average, with a model error of plus or minus 5%.

However, the forecast is not final and IMD will update it in the current month.

Due to drought in 2009-10, and 2010-11 in some parts of the country, the country's paddy production had suffered.

Last year, the overall good monsoon had helped the country to harvest a record foodgrains production of 235.88 million tonnes. There was bumber production of wheat, pulses and cotton in 2010-11 crop year.