The Indian government has announced they will import food to make up for shortages caused by a drought affecting an estimated 700 million people. The monsoon season has brought 29% less rainfall than usual, disrupting rice, soybean, sugarcane, and cotton crops. Up to 70% of Indians are dependent on farm incomes, and about 60% of India’s farms dependent on rains.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “any commodity that was in short supply would be imported to boost domestic stocks,” and described a “grim situation”. He declined to comment on details of the imports, citing an attempt to avoid speculation on prices. Food prices have risen by 10% after poor monsoon rains hit sowing. Reports said lentils, edible oils and other staples might be among the foods to be imported.

ACT will be hosting a session on crop adaptation and food supply as part of its 5-year series.