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Drought may hit rural economy, aggravating poverty

This year's rainfall is officially forecast to be only 88 per cent of the long-term average and, for the first time in nearly three decades, farmers face a second straight year of drought or drought-like conditions.

The government is ready with contingency plans in 580 districts to deal with poor monsoon, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday.
The government is considering importing pulses through state-owned trading firms such as MMTC to boost domestic supply and check the rise in retail prices.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has revised its monsoon forecast for 2015 from below normal to deficit.
The agency has also downplayed the El-Nino factor, saying the chances of the phenomenon affecting rainfall were remote.
The agriculture sector posted two straight quarters of negative growth of 1.1 per cent each to March.

Allaying fears of food prices going up due to deficient rains he said that there are adequate stocks available.

Indian scientists have completed final trials of a genetically modified (GM) variety of mustard and will submit a report to the government in a month.