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Centre to review key programmes, drought management at 2-day meet

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh will inaugurate the conference in Delhi tomorrow

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 


Even though no state has declared drought in any part of the country in 2017, so far, the Centre is expected to discuss issues related to and the spending of on drought-hit states, at a two-day annual conference to kick-start the campaign for 2017.

The conference, which is held twice every year - one before the season and the other ahead of the - will also review the progress of major like soil health cards, programmes.

It will also take stock of the flexi-availed of by states for mitigation of drought, in which states might be directed to indicate the programmes where such could be used, according to agenda notes circulated ahead of the meet.

The Central government has a limited role to play in the declaration of drought and it is the state which notifies the same based on parameters that includes, sowing progress, ground water level, rainfall progress, vegetation index, reservoir storage index etc.

For the season, state can declare drought in any part not later than October 30, while for the season it has to be declared not later than March 31st.

States need to submit their memorandum for assistance under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) within a week of the date of declaration of drought only if it is of severe nature.

During 2016-17, the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, and the Union Territory of reported droughts of varying magnitude.

They had submitted Memoranda for Central assistance for drought relief. Inter-ministerial central teams visited these states/UT for assessment of the situation and requirement of financial assistance.

In 2017, the southwest monsoon between June 1 to September 17 has been almost 6 per cent less than normal.

Around 237 out of 660 districts in the country received deficient rainfall till September 13, most of which were in agriculturally important states of Uttar Pradesh, and parts of

Though the total quantum of rainfall might be less than normal, factors like its distribution could play a critical part in determining final production.

The conference meanwhile will also chalk out a strategy for sowing of (winter) crops like wheat and discuss ways to double farmers' income by 2022.

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh will inaugurate the conference at Vigyan Bhawan.

Eight groups will be formed to discuss each of the schemes with state agriculture officials and stakeholders to see if any improvement needs to be made.

The main crops are wheat, barley, gram, pulses, linseed and mustard.

First Published: Mon, September 18 2017. 20:32 IST