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With El Nino looming large, Centre to prepare contingency plan for farmers

The agriculture ministry has reportedly set up a system for advisory services and forecasts for the main agricultural belt of India based on the rainfall scenarios

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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Amid high chances of El Nino during the monsoon season this year, the Centre will soon develop a contingency plan to protect farmers and mitigate the potential harm to the output, The Economic Times (ET) reported on Thursday.

The agriculture ministry has reportedly set up a system for advisory services and forecasts for the main agricultural belt of India based on the rainfall scenarios, it added.

The ministry is expected to develop advisories specific to different regions to help farmers avoid any damage to the crops. It is also consulting the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for it.

IMD had earlier predicted that some parts of west-central and some pockets of northeast India are likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall this year.

In India, as a whole, however, the agency has predicted a normal rainfall with a 70 per cent probability of El Nino between June and August.

The probability, however, rises to 80 per cent in September.

El Nino is the unusual heating of the surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It is usually linked to the deficient rainfall in India.

IMD also stated that 40 per cent of the EL Nino years in the past were years of normal or above normal rainfall.

Region-wise, the IMD expects normal to below-normal rains in some areas of north-west India, parts of west-central India — in Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Telangana and Gujarat — and pockets of the North-East. Normal rainfall is likely over many areas of peninsular India, adjoining east-central India, east India, north-east India, and over parts of north-west India. In a significant portion of the country, the Met said, all three climatological probabilities could occur: below-normal, normal, and above-normal rains.

Monsoon rains are critical for India's agriculture sector, with 52 per cent of the net cultivated land relying on them for irrigation. Agriculture accounts for 40 per cent of India's food production.

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First Published: Apr 27 2023 | 5:05 PM IST

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