Agriculture: A better than average monsoon may not help the government to tide over the economic slowdown.
Monsoon: More than average rainfall for the last four weeks may not be enough to tide over the economic slowdown the country is staring at. India’s meteorological department Wednesday said the monsoon rains were above average for the fourth straight week ending on August 21. However, it will not have an immediate impact on the foodgrain production. Sowing for the Kharif season is already over and wheat sowing is still a few months away. But the excess rains will recharge the reservoirs that will be helpful in the next season as nearly 40% of Indian agriculture is dependent on the irrigation.
“It requires sustained rainfall for a period of 4-5 months to have a positive impact on the foodgrain production. Our wheat and rice production will be good in any case,” said Dr Chengal Reddy.
In the month of August, the country’s north-west region received 63% more rainfal than the average. Major rice and wheat producing states like Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have received excess rainfall but it is unlikely to improve the foodgrain production in the country.
“Paddy sowing season is already over. As for as paddy is concerned, there is only a marginal increase, over the last year’s sowing area,” said Dr Ashok Vishandas, former chairman of the commission for agricultural cost and prices.
“Excess rainfall doesn’t help,” he told Financial Express Online.
In fact, the excess rainfall and floods can damage the standing crop.
India has seen large scale floods in several parts of the country this month. States like Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have been grappling with devastating floods.
“Floods are not going to help the farmers,” Dr Chengal Reddy told Financial Express Online.
“Our wheat and rice production will be sufficient. However, it will not help the production of pulses and oilseeds and there will be a shorfall,” he said.
A good monsoon is crucial for the country’s economy as farming sector accounts for more than 15% of the country’s GDP but nearly half of the country’s workforce is dependent on the agriculture sector.
A betten than average monsoon may not have an immediate positive impact on the agriculture sector, however, farming agri experts believe that it will recharge the ground water that will support the farming in the next seaon.