Country set for good Rabi season due to late rains: Agriculture Secretary -Madhvi Sally

-The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The country is headed for good rabi season despite below normal monsoon rains, thanks to a surge of rainfall in the last week of September that replenished soil moisture, agriculture secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak has said. The late rains will benefit planting of rabi crops such as wheat and chana, Pattanayak said on Thursday.

“We are expecting a very good rabi season, so that should make up for all the minuses which has been ascribed for kharif,” he said. The season's total rainfall for the country is 5% below normal, but it will not make any impact on planting that will begin in a fortnight, he said.

Most parts of northwest and central India received deficit rainfall, but farmers in Punjab and Haryana have access to canal irrigation that helps them plant even if rainfall is scanty.

Pattanayak attributed his confidence on rabi harvest to an extended monsoon. “It (Monsoon) is now in withdrawal phase but still not complete, as we are expecting four days of very good rain in some parts of south India,” he said. “That is the region where rainfall has been deficit.” A drought assessment report prepared by Mahalanobis Crop Forecast Centre under the agriculture ministry had said that as of August end more than 225 districts in 17 states had less than normal rainfall.

Pattanayak, however, said, “We have to read Mahalanobis data with actual field situation to get a clear picture.”

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The Economic Times, 10 October, 2017,

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