Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said he was in discussions with the governments of Punjab and Haryana for additional cultivation of pulses and oil seeds, the sowing of which has been affected due to the lack of rains in the month of June.
Talking to reporters here Pawar said sowing of pulses is primarily done in the month of June but rains last month have not been satisfactory. He said imports of oil seeds and pulses will continue.
However, he said despite poor rains sowing of paddy has been very good in Punjab and Haryana because paddy depends on irrigation which is 90-97 per cent in these two states and deliberations are on with both the state governments.
The situation of paddy sowing in Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam is also good, he added.
Pawar said he was taking stock of the progress of monsoon with the IMD officials every ten days. "June was not satisfactory from the point of view of agriculture and reservoirs. We activated our contingency plans and kept alternatives ready to tackle the delay on rains. Now we are told that the situation will improve from July 5," he said.
Earlier, addressing a gathering at Central Institute of Fisheries Education after inaugurating infrastructural facilities in the campus, Pawar said India had become second largest producer of wheat, cotton, vegetables, fruits and sugar in the world and major exporter of agriculture products.
"We have exported 40 lakh tonnes of rice, 20 lakh tonne sugar, 10 lakh tonne wheat, two million tonne wheat to different countries," he added.