Sunday, August 9, 2009

Indians going hungry "Drought prevails in 141 districts"

The possibility of more Indians going hungry, with 141 of the country’s 626 districts, around 6 million hectares has been reported in paddy, which is the worst affected crop & hit by drought & people must be prepared for a further rise in the prices of products. There has been an overall deficit of 25 percent in rainfall this monsoon.

Drought will impact both consumers as well farmers. While for the consumers it means rising food prices, for the farmers about 60 per cent of the country’s population dependent on agriculture, it could mean one more year of no income; one more year of desperation.

Mr. Singh advised states to go in for an “area specific strategy’’ wherein the production of traditional crops like paddy could be maximised in areas that received good rainfall, and areas with small rainfall could look for alternate crops.

Many of the states are now struggling with a drought like situation. The Prime Minister met representatives of state governments to ascertain their preparedness in dealing with the impact. The worst affected states are Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Assam.

The PM also assured the states of all assistance to tackle the situation, but also had a few suggestions:

  • Rain deficient states should try alternate crops that requires less water
  • Plan better for the next Rabi crop to compensate for the loss in Kharif season
  • Focus on water conservation

But the Government’s suggestions are looking like the preparedness only for the future & now people need real assistance not the assurance.


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