Central government teams have been deputed to assess the drought situation in six states -- Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Odisha, a senior agriculture ministry official said Monday.
These six states and the Karnataka government had declared drought for the kharif (summer) 2018 season. Barring Odisha, the other states have submitted a memorandum seeking funds from the central government.
"The inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT) have been deputed to six states. Already, a team has visited Karnataka and submitted its report. Other teams are in the process," the official told PTI.
The report is first vetted by a sub-committee headed by the agriculture secretary. Thereafter, the recommendations are placed before the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh-headed high-level committee seeking approval for the release of funds from National Disaster Response Fund.
In Karnataka, the official said that 72 out of 100 taluks were severely affected by drought during the kharif season, while there was moderate impact in rest of the taluks.
Kharif sowing in the state was good as monsoon progress was not that bad during June and July. However, the dry spell during September led to damage to agriculture crops, the official said, adding that the state has demanded a relief of Rs 24.34 billion.
In its first estimate, the agriculture ministry has projected a record 141.59 million tonnes of foodgrains during the kharif season of the 2018-19 crop year (July-June), as against the actual output of 140.73 million tonnes in the year-ago period.
At present, the sowing of rabi (winter) crops is underway across the country.