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Monsoon delay makes state mull alternate crops

A contingency plan for agriculture in view of the delayed monsoon, is being thought up by the state government.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2009 02:41 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times

A contingency plan for agriculture in view of the delayed monsoon, is being thought up by the state government.

Sowing of kharif crops has been postponed, which has become a matter of concern for the government.

The plan will aim at providing farmers with alternative crop in place of the regular monsoon crop.

According to Agriculture Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh, the state has received only 10 per cent of average monsoon in June as against 56 per cent last year.

“The situation may improve if the monsoon arrives next week but we will have to think of alternate crops if it is delayed,” he said.

Agriculture Department officials said around 146 lakh hectares was expected to be under kharif cultivation during the current

monsoon while the government was expecting 93 lakh metric tonnes production of foodgrains in addition to oil seeds (49 lakh metric tonnes) and cotton.

Officials said the government has also arranged buffer stock of 3.5 lakh tonnes of fertilizers keeping in mind last year's shortage.

Inadequate stock of fertilizers had become a major problem of law and order in several parts with farmers protesting on the streets.

Government preparations, along with water availability in various dams will be taken into account at the contingency plan meeting, which is expected to take place next week.

The Pune revenue division, which normally faces less water scarcity compared to other parts of state, is undergoing the said hardships in the second week of June with a population of five lakh depending on 200 tankers for drinking water.

Ten dams in Krishna valley have dried completely while the administration has initiated procedure for acquisition of private wells to ensure supply of drinking water in rural areas. So far 234 private wells have been acquired.

Only exception in Pune division is Kolhapur district where not a single water tanker has been pressed into service.

First Published: Jun 18, 2009 01:18 IST