NEW DELHI Aug 16 India, facing its second
drought in just four years, expects food grain output in the
2012/13 (July-June) crop year to be better than 2009/10, Junior
Farm Minister Harish Rawat said on Thursday.
"We are expecting better food grain production this year as
the drought area is less this year compared to 2009/10 and as we
are better prepared. We have already put in place contingency
plan for drought-hit areas," Rawat said.
The country previously witnessed drought in 2009 when the it
had to import sugar, pushing global prices to 30-year highs.
India's monsoon rains were 1 percent below average in the
week to Aug. 8, the weather office said last week, as drought
continues to hit the west of the major producer and consumer of
grains, rice and sugar this season.
(Reporting by Ratnajyoti Dutta; editing by Malini Menon)