The Centre, in a review meeting held in Pune, reviewed the status of drought preparedness and progress of kharif sowing in Maharashtra amid the state facing 39 per cent monsoon rainfall deficit so far.
The review meeting was chaired by Joint Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry Samuel Praveen Kumar and Maharashtra Agriculture Commissioner Sunil Chavan. Officials of Pune branch of India Meteorological Department (IMD) were also present.
"The rainfall deficit in the state stood at 39 per cent as on date and during the month of July the monsoon is expected to pick up in the state as per IMD," an official statement said.
Deficient rainfall in Marathwada, Vidharbha and Madhya Maharashtra
While the Konkan region has received above-normal rainfall, it has been deficient in other regions namely Marathwada, Vidharbha and Madhya Maharashtra. "However, considering the fact that over the next two weeks rainfall is likely to be either normal or above normal, the outlook is quite optimistic," it said.
State agriculture department director Dilip Zende highlighted the measures being undertaken for drought preparedness in the state.
"Contingency plans for every district have been prepared with the help of four state agriculture universities in the state, CRIDA and KVKs and communicated to all field functionaries i.e. joint directors of agriculture, district agriculture officers and also the district collectors," he said.
As on July 3, about 20.60 lakh hectares of area has been sown in the state and is expected to further pick up over the next few days. Soybean and cotton are major kharif crops, followed by pulses and paddy.
The meeting was held at a crucial juncture to take care of any eventuality that may arise in the event of a drought like situation in the state due to deficit rainfall and to ensure that all the contingent measures are planned and put in place.