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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightMonsoon rains in South ...

Monsoon rains in South may be delayed: K V Thomas

Monsoon rains in South may be delayed: K V Thomas

New Delhi: Monsoon rains in these southern states may be delayed or could be less than the normal level, Food Minister K V Thomas Friday said ahead of an official forecast later in the day.

"We have an assessment of monsoon. Monsoon will be quite satisfactory in India except the southern tip -- Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu," the minister told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Last week, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said India Meteorological Department was expecting normal monsoon. Even forecast from private firm Skymet noted normal rains.

The first monsoon forecast for the June-September period of this year will be officially released later in the day.

South-west monsoon begins from June, when sowing of Kharif (summer) crops like paddy are undertaken.

Noting that normal monsoon rains augurs well for the country's agri-sector, Thomas said: "Our food production will be comfortably good in the coming year. Wheat production will be as it was in the last year and not less than that."

Food production in 2012-13 crop year (July-June) is estimated to touch 250.14 million tonnes, of which wheat is expected to be 92.30 million tonnes.

On foodgrains storage situation, Thomas said all arrangement for procurement of wheat and even storage has been made ahead of monsoon rains.

This year's monsoon is crucial for Maharasthra, Karnataka and Gujarat, which are facing worst drought.

Monsoon rains are crucial for the agriculture sector, which contributes about 15% to the country's GDP, as only 40% of the total cultivable area is under irrigation.

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