With most parts of the country getting ‘excess’ rainfall on Tuesday, thus pulling down overall monsoon rainfall deficiency to only 13% from 16% prevailed just a couple of days back.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said ‘conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon in more parts of Gujarat, east Rajasthan, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, west Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and most parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and some parts of west Rajasthan during next 34 days.’
The IMD has stated that the quantum of rainfall during June 1-28 has been 128 milimeters (mm), only 13% less than benchmark long-period average. The monsoon had hit the Kerala coast only on June 8 against the usual date of June 1. “The monsoon has picked up pace in the last ten days or so. This has pulled down over deficiency significantly,” an IMD official told FE.
According to IMD data, till now, 17% of the country’s area has got ‘excess’ rainfall while 49% have received ‘normal’ rainfall. Only 28% of the areas have received deficient rainfall while only 6% have received scanty rainfall.
According to agriculture ministry data released last week, kharif sowing so far has been 23% lower than in the corresponding period last year, while water levels at the 91 large reservoirs have fallen to an abysmal 15% of their combined installed capacity. The sowing of rice, pulses and oilseeds have got delayed.
After two successive years of deficient monsoon (2014 and 2015), IMD earlier in the month had reiterated its April prediction by stating that southwest monsoon would be ‘above normal’ rainfall at 106% of the benchmark LPA, with a model error of ± 4%. The heartening part of the IMD’s forecast was that there is 96% probability of monsoon (June-September) being normal or excess.
The agriculture ministry has also set the country’s grain production target at 270.10 million tonne (MT) for the 2016-17 crop year (July-June), up 6.7% from the actual grain production of 253.23 MT in 2015-16