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Ministers to meet next week to review monsoon situation

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), chaired by Pawar, last met on July 31

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India will convene a meeting of its specialist panel of ministers on drought next week to take stock of the progress of summer-sown crops and review the situation, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday.

India, the world's leading producer and consumer of a number of farm commodities, is facing its first drought in three years but has ample stocks of important food stuffs such as rice, wheat and sugar.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), chaired by Pawar, last met on July 31.

The country is currently exporting the three commodities and the government has no plans to halt their overseas sales for now, Food Minister K. V. Thomas said on Wednesday.

Pawar said any loss in the area sown with cane in top sugar producing Maharashtra state would be compensated by the northern state of Uttar Pradesh where cane acreage is 10 percent higher.

He added that the condition of the cotton crop is good so far.

"Condition of cotton crop is good as of now but nothing final can be said about the output as the crop is still in the maturing stage," Pawar said.


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