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  1. Farm sector shrinks for first time in 5 years as drought fears intensify

Farm sector shrinks for first time in 5 years as drought fears intensify

Drought in India: The meteorological department (IMD) cut this year's monsoon forecast on an El Nino weather pattern that has raised fears of the first drought in six years.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2015 6:34 PM
drought late monsoon

India’s weather office cut this year’s monsoon forecast on an El Nino weather pattern that has raised fears of the first drought in six years. (Reuters)

India’s farm sector shrank for the first time in five years in the year ended March 31, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Wednesday, a day after the government forecast a likely drought this year that could hit output again.

The meteorological department (IMD) cut this year’s monsoon forecast on an El Nino weather pattern that has raised fears of the first drought in six years.

El Nino, an event marked by warmer surface waters in the Pacific Ocean, increases the chance of droughts in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, Southeast Asia and India.

The monsoon rains are vital for the rural economy as three-fifth of India’s population of over 1.2 billion depend on farming for their livelihood.

India’s farm sector accounts for around 15 per cent of a $1.2 trillion economy, one of the fastest growing economies of the world where half of croplands lack irrigation.

India’s economy, Asia’s third-largest, grew 7.5 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter through March, outstripping China’s 7 percent growth in the same quarter.

But the farm sector posted two straight quarters of negative growth of 1.1 per cent each to March.

The sector grew 3.7 per cent in 2013/14 following a protracted monsoon in 2013.

The four-month long rain season in summer normally starts on June 1, after hitting the southern coast. This year, the onset over the Kerala coast has been delayed by five days to around June 5.

Singh’s ministry has been working on area specific drought plans for 580 odd districts since April when the weather office had forecast a poor monsoon season for this year.

Last year, timely supplies of drought resilient seeds, fertilisers and diesel subsidies minimised damage to grains though the monsoon was 12 per cent deficient, Singh said.

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  1. S
    Sailen
    Jun 4, 2015 at 11:31 am
    What can be done ...all of its depends upon God and its monsoon.. What earlier govt could do is to channelize the river water through out the country where water crisis is there.
    Reply
    1. S
      Shriram Mehendale
      Jun 4, 2015 at 11:30 am
      It appears that IE have self proclaimed that the drought has already come before a single drop of rain fall. IE is unnecessarily creating a fear factor in the minds of general public which amounts to creating unrest, playing in to hands of ders, which will create unwarranted heavy buying of food grains, etc. I think the news paper like IE's should use restrain from making such issues a headlines. For the last ten days almost every type of media has given high Importance to this and the discussions in the media was on the lines that it is certainty of Drought in this year. All kinds of experts have started giving advice to Prime Minister, CM's and etc. I think yes the possibility of drought is definitely there but creating an atmosphere / climate of drought at the beginning of a rainy season is not good on part of Media.
      Reply

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