Widespread rainfall across north and central India, particularly Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, could impact wheat, mustard, jowar, grapes and vegetable production and quality.
Experts advise farmers not to irrigate their fields as rain could lead to waterlogging, which could affect winter crops such as wheat, mustard, yellow peas, chana, potato and coarse grains.
Forecasters from US, Japan & Europe see a 50-60% chance for the El Niño phenomenon to emerge during summer, but don’t expect that to cause major worries for India.
IMD has forecast rainfall in Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra on March 10 and three days later in the hilly states as well as the plains of northwestern and central India.
Prices of spinach, fenugreek and mustard have more than doubled, while cauliflower, capsicum, brinjal, lady finger and bitter gourd are up 25% in last few days.
The weather office says the next rain-bearing weather system called ‘western disturbance’ would strike the Himalayas on March 5.
A heavy burst of unseasonal rain and stormy weather across the country has severely damaged Nagpur's orange crop along with many mango and grape orchards.
The minister said the government will soon come up with an organic farming promotion scheme. He also proposed setting up a horticulture institute in Amritsar, Punjab.
Farmers have been availing crop loans upto Rs 3 lakh at 7 per cent interest rate. The effective rate of interest for farmers who repay on time is 4 per cent.
The government plans to reform the import policy of agricultural products and link customs duty of a commodity with its international prices.
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