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Good rains to better crop prospects

India looks forward to a good winter crop with plentiful rains, says Pawar.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2006 20:35 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

India is looking forward to a good winter crop with plentiful summer monsoon rains across the country having improved the soil moisture content, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday.

"Rain this year has been very good barring in a few regions. Overall the situation is good. There are high expectations for good Rabi (crop harvested in winter) yield with the improved soil moisture content," Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of a meet on coconut.

"Efforts this year would be to bring more area under Rabi cultivation, particularly wheat, and improve productivity," he said.

India has emerged the largest wheat importer this year with plans to import 5.5 million tonnes of the grain to meet emergency needs and also requirements of various government run schemes that require an estimate 3 million tonnes of wheat and rice.

Declining to estimate the level of crop losses due to floods in parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa and scanty rains in Assam, the minister said his ministry is still to get reports from the state governments.

"We will be sending teams to the states to study the impact of floods and scanty rains," he said.

First Published: Sep 05, 2006 14:37 IST