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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

Last updated on: August 16, 2012 14:30 IST

Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Poor monsoon has shattered the hopes of revival in India's economic growth.

As fears of a drought loom large across many states in India, the farm output, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country's economy, will fall drastically.

As the country struggles with a lower GDP growth rate, low industrial production, high inflation, high fiscal deficit, a poor monsoon can derail growth.

Click NEXT to see how water scarcity has hit farmers across India...



Image: Farmers load fodder supplied by the government for their cattle at Sami village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
Tags: India , GDP

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Rice production in India is set to fall from record levels, leading to a rise in prices.

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Image: A farmer waits to receive the fodder being distributed by the government for cattle at Sami village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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A normal monsoon is crucial for economic growth as over 55 per cent of India's arable land depends on rainfall.

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Image: A villager migrates with his sheep due to lack of water at Kuraga village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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The poor monsoon has led to a delay in sowing of crops like paddy, cereals, oilseeds and pulses in central and southern India.

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Image: Farmers quarrel to get carts to receive fodder supplied by the government for their cattle at Sami village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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The world may face a food crisis very soon as drought has hit several parts of the world as well.

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Image: Five-year-old Joshiya, carries a metal pitcher filled with water from a near-by well at Badarganj village in Gujarat.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Failed crops or lower yields will lead to a fall in GDP. A a weak monsoon can push the GDP below 5 per cent.

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Image: Villagers carry containers as they rush towards a water tanker supplied by the government at Sami village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
Tags: GDP , India

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Food and fuel comprise of 22 per cent of the Wholesale Price Index. Pulses and Oil seeds are mostly rain fed and will become more expensive, adding to the inflation woes. 

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Image: Five-year-old Joshiya carries a metal pitcher filled with water from a near-by well at Badarganj village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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India gets 75 per cent of the rainfall from the annual monsoon for crops and reservoirs.

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Image: A village woman carries firewood as others rest under a tree after they migrated due to shortage of water on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Around 50 per cent of the population depends on farming for a livelihood.

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Image: A village woman combs her hair after she migrated due to shortage of water on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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The drought, India's first since 2009, will severely hit states like Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Rajasthan has declared drought in five districts while Karnataka has done so in 142 talukas.

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Image: Village women rest under a tree as they migrated due to shortage of water on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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"The deficient monsoon will pose some difficulty in controlling inflation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

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Image: A girl stands next to the empty containers after the government-run water tanker left at Charanka village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government has huge wheat and rice stocks and foodgrain supply is not a problem. 

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Image: A village woman carries a container filled with drinking water supplied by the government-run water tanker at Charanka village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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"In districts where there has been a deficit of 50 percent or more in the rainfall, diesel subsidy is being provided to farmers by the government. Seed subsidy has been enhanced. Funds available under the central scheme for fodder have been increased," Manmohan Singh said.

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Image: A villager carries a water bottle as he heads towards his cattle on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), as on August 12, overall rainfall deficit for the country as a whole was 16 per cent.

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Image: A woman holds a pipe as she helps to fetch water from a government-run water tanker at Charanka village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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"Against an average area of 105.70 million hectare under kharif cultivation in the entire country, 85.4 million hectare are normally sown by August 8. This year 80.2 million hectare have been covered under various crops by August 8, 2012," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.

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Image: A villager walks next to a dried Amrapur branch canal near Santalpur village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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At least one farmer has killed himself every day since April this year due to indebtedness, drought, crop-failure or socio-economic and personal reasons.

Of the 152 farmer suicides recorded in the country in 2012-2013 so far, 118 were in Maharashtra alone, according to government data.

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Image: A dried agricultural farmland is pictured on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Andhra Pradesh ranks second with 33 cases of suicides by farmers. In Karnataka, there has been a reported case of farmer suicide this year.

Incidentally, Maharashtra and Karnataka are the worst affected by the drought this year.

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Image: Dogs stray amid damaged crops due to lack of water at a dried agricultural farmland on the outskirts of Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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The southwest monsoon in parts of Maharashtra was 20-30 per cent below normal till August 14 this year, while in north and south Karnataka, it is around 30 per cent below normal. 

The drought will force many villagers to migrate to cities in search of jobs.

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Image: A woman walks with a boy as they migrate due to lack of water at Sami village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), around 10.3 per cent of the total suicides in the country in 2011 were those involved in farming and agriculture activities.

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Image: A woman carries metal pitchers filled with water from a nearby well at Badarganj village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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The total number of suicides across the country in 2011 was around 1,35,585.

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Image: A child rides on a donkey as they migrate due to lack of water at Sami town in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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Between June 1 and June 20, farmers planted rice on 14.46 million hectares, down 10.35 percent from a year earlier period.

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Image: A farmer harvests partially damaged crop due to lack of rain at Sami village in of Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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During the drought in 2009, India had to import sugar, even as global prices rose to a record 30-year high.

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Image: Children wash their hands in a partially dried-out natural pond at Badarganj village, in of Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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Drought, a killer in India's growth story

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India's arable land area of 159.7 million hectares (394.6 million acres) is the second largest in the world, after the United States.

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Image: A woman carries metal pitchers filled with water from a nearby well at Badarganj village, in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.

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India's gross irrigated crop area of 82.6 million hectares (215.6 million acres) is the largest in the world.

India has grown to become among the top three global producers of a broad range of crops, including wheat, rice, pulses, cotton, peanuts, fruits, and vegetables.

 

 

 



Image: A plant grows from a crack on the dried-up bed of a natural pond at Badarganj village in Gujarat.
Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters.
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