Kharif output likely to be affected if situation does not improve
The monsoon rainfall has been 11% below the benchmark long period average (LPA) till Monday, which is likely to impact kharif output of the country.
The month of August has recorded a monsoon deficiency of 22%, highest in the season so far, IMD said.
According to the Met department, the quantum of average monsoon rainfall across the country during June 1-August 31 has been 632 millimetres, which is 11% less than the LPA of 714 mm.
While June rainfall constitutes 18% of the total rainfall received during monsoon (June-September) period, the showers during July (33%) and August (29%) is critical for taking up kharif sowing activities.
However, a senior agricultural scientist said that the spread of rain in September would be crucial for kharif output.
Trilochan Mohapatra, director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, said that September rain would be crucial for the kharif crop, especially for paddy. “The kharif output this year would be definitely less than what we achieved in 2013-14,” Mohapatra told FE.
In 2014-15, the kharif food grain production was estimated to have fallen to 126.31 million tonne, from 128.69 MT in 2013-14 due to deficiency in the rainfall.
Due to delay in monsoon in some of the key growing areas, transplanting of rice is still going on in some states like Bihar and Odisha and it is going to continue till the end of September, he said.
However, on the impact of pulses and oilseeds, Mohapatra said these crops do not require much water, but they would suffer from extreme weather conditions.
India Meteorological Department earlier this month had retained its June monsoon forecast about rainfall measuring 88% of LPA during April-September period. LPA is calculated on the basis of annual rainfall recorded between 1951-2000 (89 cm).
Last year also the cumulative rainfall during the entire monsoon season was 88% of LPA, which pulled down the country’s food grains production by 5% to 251 MT in 2014- 15 from 265 MT in the previous year.
The monsoon this year entered the Kerala coast on June 5, then picked up pace and covered the entire country ahead of its usual schedule. In June, the country received 16% more rains than normal benchmark.
According to agriculture ministry data, the kharif sowing was done in 967.8 lakh hectare till Friday last week which is only 1% higher than a year before. While summer sowing is nearing its end, the withdrawal of monsoon rains this year may be delayed from the ideal date of September 1.