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Monsoon revival: Sowing picks up in major crop-producing states

The rainfall was 266.1 mm as against LPA of 285.3 mm in July, according to India Meteorological Department. The precipitation was 10% above LPA in June.

Pan-India precipitation was 1% below the benchmark long period average (LPA) as on Saturday, even though there was a 7% deficit in July, the wettest of the four-month season that is crucial for summer crop sowing.

Worries about patchy rains hitting summer crop acreage and thereby the country’s food grain output and farmers’ income were allayed on Saturday, as latest Met Department data showed a smart revival of monsoon rains with nearly even distribution across the country.

Pan-India precipitation was 1% below the benchmark long period average (LPA) as on Saturday, even though there was a 7% deficit in July, the wettest of the four-month season that is crucial for summer crop sowing.

Though the stalling of the monsoon for the three weeks till July 11 adversely impacted sowing, there has been a pick-up of the activities over the past week, especially in major crop-producing regions. So, sown areas reached 79% of the season’s normal acreage of 107.3 million hectare as on Friday as against 67% a week before; of course, the area under crops was still 5% below the year-ago level.

The rainfall was 266.1 mm as against LPA of 285.3 mm in July, according to India Meteorological Department. The precipitation was 10% above LPA in June.

Majority of the 14 crore farmers in India depends on monsoon as 52% of agricultural land in the country still does not have any permanent source of irrigation. Since 2016-17, the country’s foodgrains output during kharif season has been hitting new records every year. During 2020-21 kharif season, the production was 148.4 million tonne, 3.2% higher from year-ago. Of course, higher outputs don’t necessarily result in higher farmer incomes, as prices they fetch play a crucial role.

“There was no major problems in distribution of rains, which impacts sowing the most. Most of the states in July received a good spell of rains after monsoon revived. The dry period in the initial few days of the month followed surplus rains in June,” said an IMD scientist. The country had record 305.44 million tonne of foodgrain output last year, when the deficit rainfall in July was even more than this year, the scientist said. Last year, July had recorded rains 10% below normal.

According to IMD data, the rainfall during June-July was at 449 mm against LPA of 452.2 mm for the two-month period. Central India received 1% above-normal rains while the food bowl north-west region received rains 2% below normal. Due to heavy rainfall in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after July 10, the overall precipitation in the south peninsula was 17% above normal in these two months.

Though the rainfall in east and north-east region was 13% below normal, due to the quantitatively high level of precipitation compared with other regions, the deficit is not much of a concern for kharif sowing.

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