Millennium Post

‘Rabi output may fall marginally this year due to poor monsoon’

The measures taken by the NDA government to control rise in prices of pulses, oils, wheat may not prove much effective for masses as production of rabi crops is expected to fall marginally in this fiscal due to lower acreage. While putting the blame for the shortage on rainfall, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday said, “As we all know there was 13 per cent shortfall in monsoon rains, so, it’s natural that there would be some impact on rabi crops but it will not be significant.”

“Till yesterday (Monday), sowing area was down by  2 per cent and the overall rabi production is also expected to be slightly lower than in 2013-14,” the union minister said during a press meet organised to spell out the achievements of his ministry in the six months. According to the latest data, rabi crops have been sown in 53 million hectares area so far this season, as against 55.7 million hectare in the year-ago. Area under wheat is down at 27.9 million hectare this year as against 28.6 million hectare last year, while pulses acreage is at 12.41 million hectare this year compared to 13.47 million hectare in the reviewed period.

Rabi sowing starts from October, while harvesting begins from March. In reply to a question on farmers being in distress due to falling prices of some commodities, Singh said that the government is taking measures to protect domestic farmers. In case of cotton, the state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has started buying cotton at the minimum support price (MSP). “A Price Stabilisation Fund with a corpus of Rs 500 crore has also been operationalised last week. To begin with, potato and onion will be procured to ensure farmers get fair price for their produce,” the minister stressed.

While hailing Cabinet decision of passing amended land acquisition Act through ordinance route, Singh said, “The new Act is farmer friendly and they  will not face any difficulty after the new law gets implemented, rather, they will be most benefited.”

While spelling out the success of the ministry, Singh said, “The government has taken an initiative to ensure integrated soil management. During 2007-08 to April 2014, an amount of Rs 112 crore was released for soil testing laboratories whereas Rs 86 crore has been released after the inception of Modi government  in May this year.”

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