NEW DELHI : Better monsoon conditions in the second half of the season would ensure higher crop production in the ongoing Kharif season, said Minister of State for Agriculture, Parshottam Rupala, here on Friday.

Rupala was speaking on the sidelines of the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign, here on Friday. The production last year was 141.71 million tonnes.

The arrival of the southwest monsoon was delayed this year, leading to a wide deficit of nearly 33% across the country at the end of June. This deficit was reduced to 9% in July, as the rainfall scenario improved and gradually turned into excess during the next two months. At present, the country wide monsoon rainfall is excess to the tune of 5%.

While an active monsoon strengthened the sowing of crops, extremely heavy rainfall events in certain states led to flood-like situation, inundating several low-lying areas in as many as 12 states. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, were some of the states impacted by floods this season.

“Kharif crops were damaged due to floods in some regions, but the overall production would not be impacted much. We will have a bumper production, at least higher than last year," Rupala said.

Talking about the upcoming Rabi season, the Minister said the signs are good for better production especially maize and mustard seed, because there is adequate soil moisture due to widespread rains even in the last few weeks of the season.

The storage in various reservoirs across the country have also improved significantly and increased to 85% of their capacity as on September 19, which would prove favorable for Rabi crops, which depend on timely irrigation. According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), as many as 85 out of the total 113 reservoirs monitored by it have better storage than average of last ten years.

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