Monsoon picks up momentum

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 19 2012, 05:30am hrs
With reports of heavy rain in many parts of south, central and eastern India during the last 24 hours, the crucial south-western monsoon on Monday progressed further, much to the cheer of the farming community.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, conditions are favourable for further advance of south-west monsoon into some more parts of Arabian Sea, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, remaining parts of Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal and Sikkim, and some parts of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar during the next few days.

The monsoon, which is crucial for kharif agricultural output, had slowed down a bit after hitting Kerala coast on June 5.

Monsoon had been vigorous over Telangana and interior Karnataka and coastal parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka during the last two days, an IMD official from Pune said.

IMD prediction stated that rain or thunder showers would occur at many places over east India, Chhattisgarh, east Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha, northeastern states and few places in Marathawada, south Gujarat and south peninsular India during the next two days,.

Rains has picked up pace in the last few days and we stand by our prediction of a 'normal' monsoon for the season, Shailesh Nayak, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, told FE.

IMD is expected to release a detailed report on the progress of monsoon this week. Monsoon is crucial for agriculture as about 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation. The agriculture sector contributes about 15% to the countrys gross domestic product (GDP), but more than 55% of the countrys workforce is engaged with the sector.

The delay by a few days would not impact the kharif crop plantation, an agriculture ministry official said.

As per the ministry of agriculture data, more than 5.2 million hectare (mh) under sugarcane has been sown till now against 4.9 mh in the corresponding period of 2011-12. Oilseeds have been sown in 1.72 lakh hectares so far.

Due to adequate monsoon rainfall during 2010 and 2011, grains production in the country rose to an all-time high of 245 million tonne (mt) and 252.56 mt, respectively.

IMD in April had predicted normal rainfall for the south-western monsoon (June-September).

Rains during the June-September season are likely to be 99% of the long period average (LPA). LPA is calculated on the basis of an average annual rainfall received during 1951-2000, at 89 cm.