Farm crisis may deepen as drought looms over 225 districts

Of the affected states are also those announced farm loan waivers just months ago to bail out beleaguered farming community.
With the southwest monsoon season about to end in less than three weeks’ time, the government’s drought warning system predicts there could be a drought in 225 districts across “17 agriculturally important states of India,” putting further strain on distressed agriculture sector.
According to the government’s National Agriculture and Drought Assessment System (NADAMS) the affected districts include large agricultural areas in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
These states are already struggling to pay the promised waivers and will find it harder to cope with any more distress in the farm sector, experts said.
Farmers’ protests erupted this year in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and large parts of northern India despite record food grain production last year.
“The number of districts with drought trigger 1 at the end of August was 225.
The total amount of rainfall is good but dry spells have gone up sharply,” SS Ray, director of the New Delhi-based National Crop Forecast Centre, under the ministry of agriculture which releases the monthly NADAMS report, told HT.
Trigger 1 is the first stage but also the most crucial because it is assessed on the basis of rainfall deviations and dry spell.
Though officials of the ministry of agriculture maintain overall food production may not see a large dip, crop sowing data released on Friday shows a marginal drop of around three per cent in areas under food grains.
If you miss the sowing window, yield drops.

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