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New Delhi: Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said the monsoon, which was delayed by two weeks, will pick up soon, allaying concern about the impact of the deficient rainfall in June on farm output.

“If you compare with last year, it’s bad. But if you are comparing with a normal monsoon year, (you) may not be fully satisfied but it is not bad," he said. “Going by the last few years’ experience, it (monsoon) has recovered towards the end of the season."

Early sowing in Maharashtra, Bihar and Karnataka has been affected because of the insufficient rain. Monsoon rain is crucial for the country’s agriculture as only 40% of the cultivable area is irrigated.

Till 29 June, in the current kharif or summer crop season, rice was sown in 3.07 million hectares, coarse cereals in 1.04 million hectares, oilseeds in 1.08 million hectares and pulses in 399,000 hectares, according to Pawar.

“Our position in availability of foodgrain is comfortable. Our buffer stock for rice as of June is 32.15 million tonnes and wheat and rice together is 82.3 million tonnes. The government is ready to supply the quantity of foodgrain as required by the states," Pawar said. All the states are prepared with contingency plans if the situation worsens, he said.

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