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Sowing activities on track with ample rain in S Bengal districts

Kolkata: The reasonable amount of rainfall in South Bengal districts for the past few days has been instrumental in bringing the smile back on the farmers' faces with the sowing activities absolutely on track in 90 percent of the areas.

"We have taken reports from the districts regarding the cultivation status. In areas like Birbhum, Murshidabad, West and East Burdwan and Bankura, there has been good amount of rainfall and the farmers are carrying on agriculture with great enthusiasm and vigour. The sowing of 90 percent of the Kharif crops have been done and with the weather department predicting more rain we are now much relieved," state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee said.

Usually, the preparation for sowing of Kharif crops kick off during June and by the middle of August, the sowing of crops get over. But the monsoon had been very feeble till the first week of August and the preparation of sowing did not pick up as desired. The state government including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was concerned with the rainfall deficit and the fear of cultivation being hit loomed large.

Most of the districts in South Bengal were registering 50 per cent lesser rainfall. The insufficient rainfall had also led to minimum storage of water in the dams that are used for irrigation.

A senior Agriculture department official added that the department is closely monitoring the situation with heavy rainfall lashing South Bengal since Friday. "We are hopeful of meeting our target of completing 100 percent of sowing in another few days. Reports will be sought from the districts after 15 days so as to make an assessment on the cultivation status," he added.

The department had held a high-level meeting at state Secretariat and had made a plan for alternative crop cultivation if the dearth of rainfall would have continued.

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