The farm sector grew less than one per cent in the second quarter of this fiscal from 2.7 per cent a year earlier, mainly due to the twin impact of drought and subsequent floods.

The growth in agriculture, forestry and fishing is estimated at 0.9 per cent in the July-September quarter, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) data said.

The decline was seen on sequential basis as well. In the first quarter of 2009 -10 fiscal, the sector achieved a growth of 2.4 per cent.

The agriculture and allied sectors, which contributes about 18 per cent to the country’s overall GDP, grew by 1.6 per cent in 2008 - 09. Agriculture, however, provides livelihood to over 60 per cent of the country’s population.

About 300 districts, which account for close to half of the country, were hit by drought, followed by floods in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra in a gap of three months.

Though drought hit summer-sown crops, the sector was able to achieve positive growth in the second quarter, as full impact of the estimated sharp fall in Kharif food grains production would only get reflected in the third quarter.

The CSO said that the bulk (82 per cent) of the estimates of the farm GDP in Q2 is based on anticipated output of fruits and vegetables, other crops, livestock products, forestry and fisheries, which are estimated to have registered positive growth rates of 3-4 per cent.