While most parts of the country have received ‘normal’ rainfall this monsoon season (June-September) so far, the region of south-interior Karnataka, consisting of districts like Tumkur, Mandya, Kolar, Chitradurga and Mysuru, received ‘deficient’ rains which has severely impacted sowing of kharif crops such as paddy, tobacco and ragi. Overall kharif sowing of cereals, pulses and oilseeds in Karnataka has not largely been impacted so far. Experts say it will be two consecutive years that the region is facing acute deficiency in monsoon. According to data by India Meteorological Department (IMD), in terms of quantum of rains, while north interior and coastal Karnataka has received ‘normal’ till Wednesday, south-interior parts of the state received ‘scanty’ rainfall of 227 mm against the ‘normal’ level of 319 mm. The rainfall in the region is 29% below the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA). Last year also the region got ‘deficient’ rainfall.
According to Shobhana Pattanayak, secretary, ministry of agriculture, the government is currently monitoring the situation arising out of deficiency in rainfall in the region and steps will be taken to provide assistance to farmers in the state after end of this month. “This region seems to emerging as rain-shadow areas, we will be monitoring the rainfall closely,” Pattanayak told FE. One of the worst affected part of the region is Mandya district which has reported a rainfall deficiency of close to 60% in the last two months. The Mysuru district has received 46% less rainfall than the benchmark so far.
Meanwhile, according to monsoon monitor report by AXIS Capital, deficient rainfall in parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala is likely to adversely impact coffee production. These three states contribute more than 95% of the country’s coffee production. Karnataka Planters’ Association has already forecasted 30% drop in production.
An advisory by IMD has urged farmers in south interior Karnataka to postpone sowing operation until sufficient rainfall is received. According to Karnataka state disaster monitoring centre, during June 1 – July 22, 2017 , the state as a whole recorded an actual amount of 332 mm of rainfall as against the normal rainfall of 395 mm, which is 16% departure from ‘normal’ benchmark.
Till mid-July, the area under kharif crops in Karnataka was 34.39 lakh hectare (LH) as against the normal area of 30.78 LH. Hence, the actual area sown was 3.61 LH more than the normal area sown. In case of cereals — rice, jowar, ragi, sowing in the state till July 17 was 10.85 LH against a normal sowing of 11.36 LH. In case of pulses like arhar, green gram and black gram, the reported sowing is around 11.57 LH against normal level of 6.68 LH.
The sowing of oil seeds like groundnut, sunflower and soyabean is at present at par with the normal sowing level.
Meanwhile, the cumulative rainfall till Wednesdy across the country has been 105% of the LPA or at ‘above normal’ level. Both the northwest India and central India have received ‘excess’ rainfall with 120% and 113% of LPA, respectively. In case of southern peninsula, the rainfall has been 88% of LPA while in east & northeast region, the rainfall has been 94% of LPA, both fall on ‘below normal’ level. Rainfall in a range of 96-104% of LPA is treated as ‘normal’. LPA rainfall is pegged at 89 cm, on the basis of average between 1951-2000.