Pawar says weak monsoon may affect paddy crop

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New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Friday that a weak and erratic monsoon in various parts of the country may adversely affect the paddy crop, and added that the government is drawing a contingency plan to deal with the situation.

"Contingency plans are getting operationalised in the areas where dry spell is getting prolonged," Pawar said, replying to a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha on the monsoon situation.

"Monsoon this year has been weak and erratic in its progress and distribution resulting in late sowing of crops. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Assam, Manipur and parts of some other states are likely to be affected by the deficient rainfall," he said.

As on July 23, Pawar said, there is a 19 per cent deficiency of rainfall in the country as a whole, with the North-West region deficient by 38 per cent and the North East region by 43 per cent.

He, however, said the situation has improved in most parts of the country except the North-West, North-East regions, UP and Bihar.

"Rice area and productivity may be adversely impacted which could be compensated to some extent by cultivating oilseeds, pulses and some coarse cereals in additional areas," he said. (ANI)

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