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July 13, 2024 8:17 am

Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviews preparation of kharif crop season

New Delhi, June 15

Union Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has just taken charge of the ministry earlier this week, has stressed on the need to ensure timely availability of fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides for the ensuing Kharif season, in a review meeting held this week.

Farmers have either started sowing their crops or are about to do so in a few days, depending on the part of the country they belong to.

After reviewing the preparedness for Kharif season 2024 with officials of various departments, Chouhan directed them to ensure the timely distribution and quality supply of input materials for the crops.

He said any bottleneck in the supply chain delays the sowing, hence affecting production, and should be avoided at all costs.

The minister instructed the concerned department to constantly monitor and review the situation to avoid any hardships to the farmers. Chouhan expressed happiness that the prediction for the Southwest monsoon is above normal for this year. Officials from the Department of Fertilisers, the Central Water Commission, and the the India Meteorological Department made presentations on the occasion.

Secretary, Department for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Manoj Ahuja and senior officials of the Ministry briefed the Minister on the preparedness for the Kharif season.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be 106 per cent of the long-period average. Thus, above normal rainfall is most likely over the country this June to September 2024 season.

India receives over 70 per cent of its overall rainfall during this southwest monsoon period.

Thus, the timely and proper occurrence of monsoon rainfall holds prominence for the Indian economy, given that the livelihood of a large segment of India’s population depends on agriculture. This year, the southwest monsoon set in over Kerala on May 31, a day before normal. These rains are crucial, especially for kharif crops dependent on rain. India has three cropping seasons — summer, kharif and rabi.

Crops that are sown during October and November and the produce harvested from January, depending on maturity, are Rabi. Crops sown during June-July and dependent on monsoon rains are harvested in October-November are kharif. Crops produced between Rabi and Kharif are Summer crops.

Paddy, moong, bajra, maize, groundnut, soybean, and cotton are some of the major Kharif crops.

Earlier, reviewing the functioning of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), the minister called for increased mechanization of farms to improve agricultural productivity.

He also called for the need to link agricultural education with the profession so that those attaining higher education in agriculture sciences are linked to farming practices.

Chouhan stressed for intensive discussions to improve the utility of Kisan Vikas Kendras (KVKs) to make them reach the last farmer in the country.

He said effective use of technological practises can bring revolution to the agriculture sector and called upon scientists to constantly work on improving productivity and developing new breeds.

Chouhan also mentioned that natural farming practises need to be simplified so that more and more farmers adopt it for their farming.

Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR Shri Himanshu Pathak briefed the Minister on the activities and 100 days plan of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). He informed that developing one hundred crop varieties and one hundred certification of new technologies are part of 100-day plan for ICAR.

Ministers of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Ramnath Thakur and Bhagirath Choudhary were also present during the meetings.



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