Extreme monsoon weather leads to agri-production uncertainty

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Nearly 4m hectares of Indian farmland were by a torrential monsoon this year, while four southern states were hit by drought.

According to official figures, the unpredictable weather led to a significant drop in the production of rice, pulses and oilseeds.

Agriculture ministry data showed that nearly 900,000 hectares of rice and over 500,000 hectares of both pulses and oilseeds were hit by the extreme weather. 

The total area sowed with rice, pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals shrunk by 2.9m hectares, while that for thirsty cotton, jute and sugarcane went up, however.

Despite these extremes, officials believe the total agricultural output for the year will not suffer and may even touch last year’s levels. 

Agriculture secretary SK Pattanayak said despite certain “inter-crop concerns​”, an impending crop shortage is unlikely. 

Flood damage will not significantly affect our production targets​,” he said, adding that buffer stocks of rice will ease food security if production drops.

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