More than ‘normal’ rainfall in the last three weeks in 11 districts of south-interior Karnataka, which received scanty rains in the first two months of monsoon season (June-July), has helped revive kharif sowing activities to a large extent. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), the quantum of rainfall in August so far in these districts, including Mandya, Mysuru, Chitradurga and Bengaluru, has been 95 mm, which is 70% more than the ‘normal’ benchmark of the long period average (LPA) of around 55 mm. This has reduced overall deficiency in monsoon rains to only 12% below LPA in the region that was 29% below LPA in the first two months of monsoon season. In July alone, the deficiency was 50% of LPA.
“Standing kharif crops such as paddy, tobacco and ragi have been hit because of scanty rainfall in the last two months. With more rainfall received so far this month than normal, farmers have been encouraged to grow short-duration millets and pulses for compensating crop losses to an extent,” said GS Srinivasa Reddy, director, KSNDMC. Reddy said the next 10 days or so rains in the southern state are likely to more than normal thus would boost kharif sowing activities further. One of the worst affected parts of the region is Mandya district, which has reported a rainfall deficiency of close to 60% in the last two months. It has now 27% more rainfall than benchmark LPA because of five-times more rainfall received than the normal in the last one week.
The Mysuru district has received 46% less rainfall in June and July while overall quantum of monsoon rains is now reduced significantly. During the month so far, 10 districts of Karnataka – out of overall 30 districts – have received ‘excess’ rainfall and 5 districts have received normal rainfall.Meanwhile, for the rain-deficient south-interior Karnataka, the agromet advisory by India Meteorological Department (IMD), has suggested farmers to continue sowing of short-duration varieties of ragi, minor millets, jowar, maize and pulses like avare, cowpea etc., at sufficient moisture condition. According to IMD, the other two regions of the state – north-interior and coastal Karnataka – have received ‘normal’ and ‘deficient’ rainfall so far in the season.
“In the past few days, Karnataka has received widespread rainfall which is expected to help in sowing of short-duration kharif crops,” said Shobhana Pattanayak, secretary, department of agriculture and cooperation. In the last couple of years, Karnataka has been facing drought-like conditions in several districts.