India is already preparing for the worst, as a failure of the monsoon looms on the horizon.
So far marking a 22 percent deficiency in the monsoon, the government has swung into action, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directing all departments and ministries to coordinate with states to monitor the situation on a weekly basis, NDTV reported Tuesday. Rainfall is nearly below 40 percent in major agricultural states, the worst affected being Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
As the worst drought in decades hits US agriculture, the rest of the world faces the specter of another food crisis. But in India, domestic conditions will play a far more important role. Indian agriculture is largely insulated from world markets, with the country's imports and exports of farm produce relatively insignificant. But India is likely to reinstate export restrictions on wheat and rice to prevent a flight of food grains to higher prices abroad.
The country's millions of tons of food grain reserves -- a surplus so large that much of it lies rotting, as GlobalPost reported earlier -- will also help insulate India from the troubles facing other countries that have more fully embraced free trade.
If rainfall measures less than 90 percent of normal, the resulting drought would likely force India to import sugar, a move that in 2009 pushed global prices to 30-year highs, the news channel said.