Delayed, skewed monsoon bad news for Indian agriculture – report

A delayed monsoon that is likely to catch speed only in the latter half of the season is not good news for Indian agriculture because of excess showers and a skewed distribution, according to a newspaper report.

Meteorologists have said rains are expected to pick up speed in the second half of June and make steady progress across the country, getting stronger each day. The season lasts till September.

June, being the first month of monsoon, gets 17-18 per cent of the total moisture. So, a delayed start would not have too much of an effect on the total rainfall. July and August get the most showers. In many parts of central and north India, monsoon reaches only in July, the Business Standard newspaper said.

“However, a delayed start could mean the current dry weather would continue for some time in many parts of the country. Water levels in the 91-major reservoirs, which dipped to about 18 per cent of their total capacity in the week ending May 19, would fall,” it said.

India is expecting strong showers after the end of the El Nino weather phenomenon that triggered two straight years of drought. The La Nina climatic cycle that is expected to set over the Pacific Ocean usually brings good monsoon rains to India.

India’s agriculture ministry has set a food grain production target of a record 270 million tonnes for 2016-17 in anticipation of a good monsoon, almost 17 million tonnes more than the previous year.


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