Monday, June 17, 2024

Relief for farmers and economy: IMD predicts above-normal monsoon this year | India News


India’s monsoon season is crucial for the country’s agriculture and overall economy. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday predicted above-normal rainfall for the core monsoon zone this season, which is a significant relief for the nation facing heatwaves and potential drought conditions. The monsoon rains, expected to be 106% of the long-term average of 87 cm, are vital for irrigating crops, replenishing reservoirs, and supporting the $3.5 trillion economy.
The monsoon season, spanning from June to September, delivers almost 70% of the annual rainfall required for agriculture and water resources.With 52% of India’s cultivated area depending on rain-fed irrigation, the forecast of above-normal rainfall is expected to boost farm output and economic growth, potentially lowering food price inflation. However, the distribution of rainfall is expected to vary across the country, with normal to above-normal rainfall predicted in central and southern peninsular regions and below-normal rainfall in the northeast.
Here is all you need to know:
What is the expected rainfall for India’s monsoon season this year?
The IMD has forecasted above-normal rainfall for the core monsoon zone, with the season’s cumulative rainfall expected to be 106% of the long-period average of 87 cm.
Which regions in India are expected to receive above-normal rainfall?
Above-normal rainfall is predicted for the central and south peninsular regions of India, which include states such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and parts of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
What are the rainfall predictions for other regions in India?
Normal rainfall is expected in northwest India, while below-normal rainfall is anticipated in the northeastern parts of the country.
Why is the monsoon important for India?
The monsoon is critical for India’s agriculture, with 52% of the net cultivated area relying on it for irrigation. It also replenishes reservoirs essential for drinking water and power generation, and it significantly impacts the overall economy.
What is the significance of the monsoon for agriculture in India?
The monsoon season is crucial for the sowing of Kharif crops, such as rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugar cane. June and July are particularly important months for agriculture, as most sowing activities take place during this period.
How does the monsoon affect water storage and power generation?
According to the Central Water Commission, water storage in 150 major reservoirs in India recently dropped to just 24% of their live storage capacity, exacerbating water shortages and affecting hydropower generation. Adequate monsoon rainfall is essential for replenishing these reservoirs.
What are El Niño and La Niña, and how do they impact the monsoon?
El Niño is associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India, while La Niña leads to plentiful rainfall during the monsoon. Data shows that India has experienced above-normal rainfall during the monsoon season in most years when La Niña followed an El Niño event.
What other climatic factors influence the monsoon?
The development of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and below-normal snow cover in the northern hemisphere and Eurasia can also influence the monsoon. A positive IOD, which is expected by August, helps bring rain to several states in southern India.
How does the variability in monsoon rainfall affect agriculture?
While overall above-normal rainfall is predicted, climate change has increased the variability in rainfall patterns. The number of rainy days is declining, while heavy rain events are increasing, leading to frequent droughts and floods, which can impact agricultural productivity.
What are the economic implications of the monsoon forecast?
Plentiful monsoon rains can boost farm output, support economic growth, and help reduce food price inflation. This is particularly important for maintaining stable food supplies and avoiding the need for export curbs on essential commodities like sugar, rice, onions, and wheat.
(With inputs from agencies)

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