Review steps to deal with possible monsoon failure, Agri Min to CMs
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has written letters to all chief ministers cautioning them to review measures well in time to deal with a possible monsoon failure.
"The Central government permits states and UTs to earmark 25 per cent of funds under centrally-sponsored schemes as flexi-funds which, inter-alia, could be used for mitigation of natural calamities," said Singh in his letter.
In addition, he emphasised that expanding the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana will enable farmers to minimise risks associated with loss of production in the event of a disaster.
Singh urged all chief ministers to review the state of preparedness in managing weather-related contingencies, if any, in advance so that the possible adverse impact of sub-par rainfall on farmers can be mitigated.
Singh in his letter mentioned that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has projected a likely rainfall of 96 per cent (+ 5 per cent) of the Long Period Average during Kharif 2017 in its first stage forecast for the South-West Monsoon. An updated forecast will be issued by IMD in June 2017 with details of temporal (monthly) and regional distribution of monsoon rainfall.
Singh further wrote, "The crop season of 2016-17 was a very satisfactory year for the agriculture sector as a whole. The state governments and farmers were able to take the best advantage of a normal monsoon to create a record-breaking performance in the production of cereals, pulses and oilseeds."