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Agriculture ministry predicts record harvest across India

Staff Writer |
As the impact of the worst northeast monsoon in 140 years unfolds across Tamil Nadu, farmers sowed a third less land than they did in 2015-16.

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Water levels in six major reservoirs continued to plunge, and suicides in the farm sector increased over five years.

In the midst of this agrarian turmoil in a state that produced 5.6 percent of India’s rice in 2014-15, the agriculture ministry has predicted a record national harvest.

Tamil Nadu has reported 29 percent year-on-year drop in overall crop sowing till 2 February, 2017, according to the latest situation report from the agriculture ministry.

The retreating northeast monsoon—usually unnoticed in India owing to the singular importance of the larger southwest monsoon—in 2016 was the worst ever over the last 140 years, according to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) records, since 1876, as IndiaSpend reported in January 2017.

Record-keeping began in 1871, but a worse northeast monsoon, which sweeps across Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka and Kerala, between October and December, was recorded in 1876, making 2016 the year of the second-worst monsoon in 145 years.

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